Jason Bowles entered the third weekend (Rounds 5 and 6) of the Cooper Tires Zetec Championship second overall in the championship points standings. His goals for the weekend were to close the gap on the points leader, and also to extend his lead...
Jason Bowles entered the third weekend (Rounds 5 and 6) of the Cooper Tires Zetec Championship second overall in the championship points standings. His goals for the weekend were to close the gap on the points leader, and also to extend his lead in the race for Rookie of the Year honors. Although Jason is still coming to grips with the Formula Ford Zetec race car, he was confident going into the weekend because this was the first track that he had raced at before.
Thursday and Friday's practice sessions went very well for Jason as he and the PR1 Motorsports team worked on getting the balance of the car comfortable for Jason in preparation for the first round of qualifying. Qualifying was a bit of disappointment. Having been a half second quicker than everybody else in practice, Jason was slightly disappointed to qualify fifth, although only 3 tenths off pole position. To win the race Jason knew he had to get a great start and be aggressive.
At the drop of the green flag Bowles exited the first corner in sixth place, having lost a place when he dropped two tires into the dirt. Jason remained in sixth as the field snaked its way thru the infield of Laguna Seca and head uphill to one of the most famous sections of any track in the world the "Cork Screw". Jason was able to pull alongside points leader Bobby Wilson and was looking to make a pass under breaking. When the side by side duo reached the breaking zone Jason made the pass, but kept on going. The throttle had stuck and Jason entered the 50 mph corner at twice that speed. Bowles flew thru the inside gravel trap, pushed the clutch in and hit the ignition, sustaining minimal damage to a front wing, and ending his race. Following Jason's spectacular save from disaster he was quoted as saying "It was a really scary feeling going up there with a stuck throttle. Luckily I was able to flip the ignition switch and get the car stopped before I hit anything. I missed an opportunity to make up points, lost some points and now I am really looking forward to tomorrow."
Second round qualifying was an important session for the #23 Van Dieman Bowles was piloting. Having lost valuable time because of the DNF, the team was not sure the changes they made from the previous day would work out. As he done on the previous day, Bowles once again earned the fifth starting position. Jason got off to one of his patented great starts and had taken over third by the end of the first lap. He followed pole sitter Wade Cunningham briefly and past him to take over second before the end of lap 2. There was a bit of gap built up between himself and the leader but Jason was determined to close the gap and go for the win. Bowles slowly reeled in the leader but never got a chance to go for the win, settling for second and finishing just .542 of a second behind the winner. "The car was really good today. All the guys from PR1 Motorsports did a great job and I have to thank them. I gained some valuable points on the leader on Sunday and if I can find the funding, I would love to the chance to do it again at Mosport. I'm still second in the points despite the result from Saturday and have a decent lead in the Rookie of the Year.
I would like to thank all my sponsors, PR1, Sparco, my dad, and everybody else that is involved with my racing."
Thanks, Jason Bowles