Former Australian Touring Car Champion John Bowe will compete in the inaugural Australian Six Hour production car race, to be held at Eastern Creek Raceway on July 18.
Bowe, currently racing in the Touring Car Masters class, will pair with Peter O’Donnell who is stepping up a class and spearhead a two-class, three-car BMW attack.
O’Donnell, who is a regular fixture in the Australian Manufacturers Championship aboard his GWS Personnel BMW 130i, recently took delivery of Garry Holt’s twice Bathurst 12 Hour winning BMW 335i, after purchasing the car during the Phillip Island round of the Championship in April.
The last time Bowe drove the BMW 335i was in the 12 Hour with Holt and Paul Morris, racing it to victory.
“I am looking forward to the six hour race,” Bowe said.
“I believe production car racing has a really important part to play, after all, that’s how Bathurst became famous, and Eastern Creek is a good venue for this type of event.
“After Garry Holt sold his BMW, I thought I had missed out on the Six Hour, but Garry ‘sold’ me to Peter O’Donnell who purchased the car, so I will be in it after all.
“Pete is a top bloke and driver, and I’m happy (car preparer Garry) Mennell is looking after the car, he is a good operator.
“I don’t reckon we can match the Evo rockets for sheer pace, but the car is strong and good on fuel – we will keep them honest!”
The Australian Six Hour production car race, will run as part of the Shannons Nationals Motor Racing Championships.
For July’s race, O’Donnell’s team will field a total of three BMWs, with the 335i joined on the grid by a pair of 130is, with Allan Shephard to be the lead driver aboard one of the baby Bimmers.
O’Donnell will give the car a final hit out prior to the Six Hour with a practice run at an upcoming state championship meeting at Eastern Creek.
Category managers are very impressed with the quality and quantity of entries that are coming in for the new event, with nominations expected to include such marques as BMW, Subaru, Mitsubishi, Ford/FPV, Holden/HSV, Mazda, Toyota, Honda, Alfa Romeo, Renault, Mini and more.
The Australian Six Hour doubles as the fourth round of the Australian Manufacturers Championship, which is currently led by Holt, who is expected to pick up a drive in another car for the event.
The meeting will also feature the Australian Saloon Car Series, HQ Holdens, and the return of the Mazda MX5 Challenge to the Shannons Nationals program after a successful first time outing at Wakefield Park in March.
Before the Australian Six Hour kicks off, the Shannons Nationals will continue at Winton Motor Raceway on June 26-27, featuring the Commodore Cup National Series, the Australian Saloon Car Series, the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship and the Shannons V8 Touring Cars.
The meeting will also include a one-off appearance for the Cue Sports Car Endurance Championship, as well as the Victorian HQ Holdens, which will be competing in the Dallas Crane HQ Challenge.