Australian Motorsport Legends to launch Townsville 500 Festival

Dick Johnson

John Bowe and Dick Johnson

Two of the biggest names in Australian Motorsport will again team up in Townsville next month to launch the V8 Supercars Castrol Townsville 500, July 4 – 7.

Ford icon Dick Johnson will be joined by his legendary partner John Bowe, reuniting one of the most famous duos in Australian motorsport history. Johnson and Bowe are arguably Australia’s best driver pairing and dominated racing during the late eighties and early/mid nineties in their respective Fords.

The famous drivers will be guests at a breakfast event on June 3 to launch a month of build up for the Townsville V8 Supercars event. This will be the first speaking engagement by the pair who are celebrating the 20th Anniversary of their legendary 1994 Bathurst 1000 victory.  Johnson and Bowe will also be guests at a public function on Monday June 2 being held at the Reid Park Pit Complex for V8Supercar fan supporters.

In terms of Australian Motorsport, Johnson and Bowe are considered to be the most successful pairing in the sport’s history. Bowe drove for the Dick Johnson Racing team (DJR) for 11 seasons during the most successful period in his twenty two year ATCC/V8Supercar career.  Who will ever forget the DJR Shell Sierra’s with Johnson and Bowe slaughtering the field during the late 80’s, early 90’s … they were blisteringly fast, often leaving the field in their wake.  

Dick Johnson’s career spanned 30 years (1970/2000) while Bowe is still in his prime on the back of a 43 year stellar career.  Bowe and Johnson have both been inducted into the ‘V8 Supercars Hall of Fame’ and are firm favourites amongst motorsport supporters.

The name of Dick Johnson sits alongside the late Peter Brock as the two most famous names in Australian Touring Car/V8 Supercars history. What Brock was to Holden fans, Johnson is for Ford and continues to be the torchbearer for blue fans for almost four decades.

Dick Johnson won five Australian Touring Car Championships, also winning the Bathurst 1000 on three occasions – twice with his Townsville breakfast/dinner partner Bowe. The Dick Johnson Racing brand is Australia’s oldest race team (34 years). The love for the Aussie Larrikin has never been stronger.  

Individually and together Johnson and Bowe have carved remarkable careers while being lauded as the best driver pairing of all time. Johnson was dominant in the 80’s winning his five Championships (81/2/4/8 and again in 89) the most by any driver in Australian Motorsport history.

Bowe’s two Bathurst 1000 wins (with Dick Johnson Racing), his Australian Touring Car Championship (1995), and this year’s International Bathurst 12 Hour race win (with Craig Lowndes in a Ferrari GT3) rate as his career highlights. 

Bowe is statistically the most successful race driver in Australian Motorsport history. He holds the record of 225 V8 Supercar race round starts including the most for a manufacturer (218/Ford). He is the only driver to win National Championships in four different categories. 

Bowe holds the Australian record for most career race wins (184), career pole positions (82) and (379) podium finishes. 

Bowe currently leads the Touring Car Masters Championship after previously winning the Championship in 2011 and 12.

Dick Johnson and John Bowe are looking forward to coming to Townsville to launch the city’s preparations for the Castrol Townsville 500, being held at Reid Park on July 4 – 6.

Johnson said, “JB and I are keen to come up a month before the event to meet Townsville race fans.  Our team commitments (on race weekends) don’t allow us much time to meet the fans, so we’re really looking forward to visiting at a quieter time – we might even get a spot of fishing in!” 

Bowe finished by saying, “given the time we’ve spent together, Dick and I have more than a million stories to share – for me, it was the best time of my V8 career. For Dick I’m not so sure, don’t ask him that, he never misses the chance to tell another unfavourable yarn about me’ he said with a big smile.

Johnson and Bowe are Guests at the Townsville Enterprise Business Breakfast at Jupiters Hotel & Casino on Tuesday 3rd June. Tickets are available from www.townsvilletickets.com.au  This event is organised by Townsville Enterprise Limited.  For more information please contact Jodi Hamilton on (07) 4726 2728.

Bowe and Johnson will share their stories at the Dunlop Super Dealer – Motorsport Royal Family Reunion Tour on Monday evening, June 2nd at the Reid Park pit complex where attendees could win a Hot Lap in the pairs Wilson Security Racing GT ride cars on the Townville circuit.  Book online – www.ticketshop.com.au  or phone (07) 4727 9797 – or Civic Theatre Boundary Rd Townsville.  For more information – please contact the Event Manager – Hamilton Urquhart 0408 235 374 [email protected]