Bowe: Patience required from new marques
Hall of Fame member John Bowe has called for calm in the V8 Supercars paddock amid ongoing grumblings over technical equality.
After a decade of relative peace on the parity front, tempers have flared in recent weeks as the Nissan and Mercedes teams have lobbied for assistance in improving their fuel consumption during the Pirtek Enduro Cup races.
Against heavy resistance from the established players, the four-valve engined teams continue to argue that a 70 percent ethanol fuel blend should be allowed for Bathurst.
Prior to Sandown, V8 Supercars announced a compulsory pitstop rule for the three races, although it is yet to confirm the exact number of stops required for Bathurst and the Gold Coast.
A push meanwhile appears to be emerging for a change to the compression ratio regulations next year, with an increase to the long-standing 10:1 requirement touted as a saviour for the new players.
Bowe, who was at the forefront of the Ford versus Holden parity politics during the first 10 years of the 5.0 litre V8 Supercar rule package, says that the category must be very careful about making ‘knee jerk’ rule changes.
“I don’t think there’s a God-given right for anyone to win a race unless they earn it,” the current Touring Car Masters competitor told Speedcafe.com.
“I’ve been involved in categories that manipulate the rules, in fact I’m in one now… and generally no one is happy when you start doing that.
“At the end of the day the show that the public gets is the most important thing and they don’t need to be duped by parity changes falsifying results.
“If your engine uses more fuel than someone else’s, then fix it. Get some different cylinder heads for it or different ports. That’s what they’ve always done with the Chevs and the Fords.
“I don’t know what V8 Supercars told these manufacturers before they came on board, but there’s no right to be winning races within nine months of hitting the track.
“I just think we’ve got a great set of rules that have been stable since 1993 with revs and compression and all of that. There’s no reason to change it.”
Bowe believes that the parity arguments are distracting from the impressive job that the Nissan and Erebus teams have done on their cars over the last 12 months.
Erebus took a fourth place finish with drivers Lee Holdsworth and Craig Baird last weekend at Sandown, where their AMG engines appeared to lack little in comparison to the Ford and Holden units.
While the Nissans are clearly lacking the straightline performance of their rivals, the team has scored 18 top 10 finishes to date, including three top fives (albeit two under controversial circumstances while on the E70 at Winton).
“I think there’s just too much politicking going on to be honest,” said Bowe of the situation.
“We all know that motorsport is full of politics, but I see the races this year and the closeness of the competition, it is really elite level stuff, and I don’t think you need to fix it if it’s not broken.
“I think they (the Nissan and Mercedes teams) have done an awesome job.
“The Kellys have built four cars that are totally different to what they had. You’ve got to admire them.
“The Erebus team started late and have an engine provider that lives in Germany, which is very difficult to manage. Their power is now ok, their only problem is their fuel usage, which I’m sure they’ll get on top of by next year.”