Infotainment Factory: The 'distasteful' move that left legend 'staggered'

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Thursday, 2 May 2019

The 'distasteful' move that left legend 'staggered'


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Supercars legend John Bowe says he’s been “staggered” by the overwhelming reaction towards Supercars’ decision to change the aero package on the Ford Mustang, a move the Hall of Fame driver finds “distasteful.”

Ford drivers, including championship leader Scott McLaughlin, will race this weekend in Perth with a car that’s been slowed down for the second time this season, following changes to the centre of gravity prior to the round in Tasmania last month.

Mustang drivers have won nine of the ten races so far this season, with McLaughlin victorious on seven occasions. Following the round at Phillip Island three weeks ago, the Supercars technical department announced further aerodynamic changes to the Mustang to bring the car back to the level of the Holden Commodore and Nissan Altima.

Bowe, a two-time Bathurst winner, recently posted about the issue on his Facebook page, and was overwhelmed by the reaction from fans.

“I was absolutely shocked by the response,” Bowe told Wide World of Sports.

“I’m just a racing lover, but the fan engagement and support I got on this matter was way beyond what I expected. It means the fans that follow motorsport are very passionate and they don’t like what’s going on.

“I was staggered by the outrage amongst the fans.”

Bowe admitted the Mustang enjoyed a “small” advantage over the Commodore and Altima, but says mid-season changes are not the answer.

“My biggest beef is the fact that it’s been changed on the run,” Bowe said.

“The Ford people built a car within the rules, and built a better car than the others. I find it distasteful.

“They should have been allowed to have the fruits of their labour for the rest of the season.”

Scott McLaughlin at the wheel of the Mustang.

Bowe is no stranger to mid-season rule changes. In 1995, he won what was then the Australian Touring Car Championship in his Dick Johnson Racing Falcon, only for the governing body to introduce changes to slow the Fords down prior to the Sandown and Bathurst endurance races.

It’s proof that parity controversies have raged for years,

“For years it’s been a flawed process and everybody’s been justifying it,” Bowe said.

“I’m sure the two new guys looking after the technical side of things for Supercars will get it under control.

“Adrian Burgess and Campbell Little are both very experienced. They are in the hot seat at the moment, but they’re very capable people and I’m hoping this won’t ever happen again.

“I expect they’ll put some guidelines in place where the measurements are done properly in the first place.”

Despite the changes to slow down the Mustang, Bowe said McLaughlin remains the driver to beat, saying the 25-year-old compares favourably to the greats of Supercars.

“Success breeds confidence, particularly in a driver, and he’s absolutely a stand out,” Bowe said.

John Bowe is a two-time Bathurst champion.

“Last year the Falcon, to a trained eye, was clearly not as effective as a Commodore. But Scotty and DJR still won the championship. That was an outstanding effort.

“Now they’ve got a car that’s equal, or even better than the Commodore, so I reckon he’s odds on favourite. He’s a standout performer, the team’s the standout, so I’m not sure anyone will knock him off.”

The lap record at Perth’s Barbagallo Raceway was smashed during last night’s practice sessions, as the cars took to the track ahead of races tonight and tomorrow night.

Night racing is still in its infancy as far as Supercars are concerned, but it’s received the thumbs up from Bowe.

“It’s a great idea and Supercars clearly recognise that they need to freshen things up. Racing under lights is incredibly spectacular, I’d like to see more of it. As a viewing spectacle, it’s awesome. It makes great TV, so good on them for doing it.

“The track has just been resurfaced. It will have lots of grip, so there’s be plenty of great racing. You can’t knock anything about the Supercars show. It’s a great show, and the people that put it on do a great job.

“It’s just some of the funny technical decisions that get made behind the scenes that they need to sharpen up on.”

Supercars legend John Bowe says he’s been “staggered” by the overwhelming reaction towards Supercars’ decision to change the aero package on the Ford Mustang, a move the Hall of Fame driver finds “distasteful.”

Ford drivers, including championship leader Scott McLaughlin, will race this weekend in Perth with a car that’s been slowed down for the second time this season, following changes to the centre of gravity prior to the round in Tasmania last month.

Mustang drivers have won nine of the ten races so far this season, with McLaughlin victorious on seven occasions. Following the round at Phillip Island three weeks ago, the Supercars technical department announced further aerodynamic changes to the Mustang to bring the car back to the level of the Holden Commodore and Nissan Altima.

Bowe, a two-time Bathurst winner, recently posted about the issue on his Facebook page, and was overwhelmed by the reaction from fans.

“I was absolutely shocked by the response,” Bowe told Wide World of Sports.

“I’m just a racing lover, but the fan engagement and support I got on this matter was way beyond what I expected. It means the fans that follow motorsport are very passionate and they don’t like what’s going on.

“I was staggered by the outrage amongst the fans.”

Bowe admitted the Mustang enjoyed a “small” advantage over the Commodore and Altima, but says mid-season changes are not the answer.

“My biggest beef is the fact that it’s been changed on the run,” Bowe said.

“The Ford people built a car within the rules, and built a better car than the others. I find it distasteful.

“They should have been allowed to have the fruits of their labour for the rest of the season.”

Scott McLaughlin at the wheel of the Mustang.

Bowe is no stranger to mid-season rule changes. In 1995, he won what was then the Australian Touring Car Championship in his Dick Johnson Racing Falcon, only for the governing body to introduce changes to slow the Fords down prior to the Sandown and Bathurst endurance races.

It’s proof that parity controversies have raged for years,

“For years it’s been a flawed process and everybody’s been justifying it,” Bowe said.

“I’m sure the two new guys looking after the technical side of things for Supercars will get it under control.

“Adrian Burgess and Campbell Little are both very experienced. They are in the hot seat at the moment, but they’re very capable people and I’m hoping this won’t ever happen again.

“I expect they’ll put some guidelines in place where the measurements are done properly in the first place.”

Despite the changes to slow down the Mustang, Bowe said McLaughlin remains the driver to beat, saying the 25-year-old compares favourably to the greats of Supercars.

“Success breeds confidence, particularly in a driver, and he’s absolutely a stand out,” Bowe said.

John Bowe is a two-time Bathurst champion.

“Last year the Falcon, to a trained eye, was clearly not as effective as a Commodore. But Scotty and DJR still won the championship. That was an outstanding effort.

“Now they’ve got a car that’s equal, or even better than the Commodore, so I reckon he’s odds on favourite. He’s a standout performer, the team’s the standout, so I’m not sure anyone will knock him off.”

The lap record at Perth’s Barbagallo Raceway was smashed during last night’s practice sessions, as the cars took to the track ahead of races tonight and tomorrow night.

Night racing is still in its infancy as far as Supercars are concerned, but it’s received the thumbs up from Bowe.

“It’s a great idea and Supercars clearly recognise that they need to freshen things up. Racing under lights is incredibly spectacular, I’d like to see more of it. As a viewing spectacle, it’s awesome. It makes great TV, so good on them for doing it.

“The track has just been resurfaced. It will have lots of grip, so there’s be plenty of great racing. You can’t knock anything about the Supercars show. It’s a great show, and the people that put it on do a great job.

“It’s just some of the funny technical decisions that get made behind the scenes that they need to sharpen up on.”

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