BOWES' BATHURST BUT SKAIFE SHINES MT PANORAMA, BATHURST, NSW Sunday, March 12, 1995: The magic of the mountain cast it's spell on the competitors in round 3 of the Shell Australian Touring Car Championships. After setting the pace in...
BOWES' BATHURST BUT SKAIFE SHINES
MT PANORAMA, BATHURST, NSW Sunday, March 12, 1995: The magic of the mountain cast it's spell on the competitors in round 3 of the Shell Australian Touring Car Championships. After setting the pace in practice it was Ford 1, 2 and 3 with an all yellow front row of series leader John Bowe and his team boss Dick Johnson from the Blue Peter Jackson Team Falcon of Glen Seton. Australia's oldest teenager Peter Brock showed his 50th birthday form in Tasmania was no fluke to be the fastest of the Commodores from defending champ Mark Skaife.
The front two spots on the grid were left vacant in honour of former Bathurst winner Gregg Hansford, killed last week at Phillip Island and Don Watson who lost his life at this track in the October 1000 classic. At the start Bowe and Johnson got a great start but further back things were not so rosy for Wayne Gardner and team mate Neil Crompton in their Coke Commodores as they put each other out of the race on the first corner after Crompton claimed he got a nudge from Phil Ward.
On lap 2 Brock lying in third spun on the mess left by the Coke cars to make it a Ford trifecta with Bowe from Johnson and Seton taking over from Brock.
Next lap and Johnson pulled a great move on his team mate to take a lead which he was to keep until the end of the 15 laps.
Bowe was second, Seton third while Mark Skaife was the first Commodore home in fourth after a titanic battle with Larry Perkins. The pictures from the front spoiler mounted camera on Perkins car were awesome. 2 litre Mercedes star Phil Ward was the best privateer in his Commodore.
RESULTS HEAT 1 ========================================================== Driver Team Car ========================================================== Dick Johnson Shell Dick Johnson Racing Ford Falcon John Bowe Shell Dick Johnson Racing Ford Falcon Glen Seton Peter Jackson Racing Ford Falcon Mark Skaife Winfield Racing Holden Commodore Larry Perkins Castrol Racing Holden Commodore
At heat 2 Bowe blew the start slowing Brock who had raced up behind him. Brock's factory Holden team mate Thomas Mezera made a blinder to jump into second ahead of Seton and Skaife with Larry Perkins joining the high speed convoy.
Seton made a desperate attempt to push past Mezera at the end of the long Conrod straight causing both to lose places to Skaife, Larry and the rapidly closing Bowe.
These 3 continued to dice for second as Johnson looked set for another win. However within sight of the victory a potential disaster as Johnson's rear wing buckled under the strain causing him to spin at the end of conrod.
A surprised Skaife took the lead and held to the end giving the series its sixth different winner in six heats.
Bowe worked his way past Perkins ailing Commodore on the penultimate lap to take second with Larry nursing his car home for third. Mezera was fourth from Seton, Brock and Alan Jones.
RESULTS HEAT 2 =========================================================== Driver Team Car =========================================================== Mark Skaife Winfield Racing Holden Commodore John Bowe Shell Dick Johnson Racing Ford Falcon Larry Perkins Castrol Racing Holden Commodore Glen Seton Peter Jackson Racing Ford Falcon Thomas Mezera Holden Racing Team Holden Commodore
Overall it was a great day's racing with an emotional Bowe who won the day dedicating his victory to the memory of Hansford, Mark Skaife picked up valuable points by finishing second with Larry Perkins in third.
Bowe now leads the title chase from Perkins and Brock as the championship heads to Phillip Island in Victoria for Round 4 on April 9.
-- Brett Ramsey On line Media consultant