2ND SEPTEMBER 1996 - BY PAUL RYAN BOWE SAYS FERRARI CAN TOPPLE PORSCHE PACK
Despite being fraught with reliability dramas, John Bowe believes he can still squeeze a GT Production win out of his Italian stallion F355 Ferrari. Bowe looked set for success at Amaroo Park in round three before the V8 engine expired within four laps of the chequered flag.
The RPM team was forced to bypass the Mallala round before returning to the track at Winton. While the Ferrari showed great pace, it again proved to be fragile, prompting team manager Neal Lowe to board a plane for Italy and the U.K. in search of a cure.
Despite the set-backs, Bowe is confident he can put he Prancing Horse marque in the winner's circle before the conclusion of the GTP Championship. "I definitely think the car has got a win in it this year - maybe more," Bowe said. "I was quite surprised by the speed at Winton because it really wasn't a circuit I expected the car to do well at. The car handled much better than at Amaroo and we looked set to win ther e before the engine let us down. With a bit of luck, Neal will be able to sort out the problems while overseas and we will be right for Phillip Island."
Bowe showed he is prepared to race hard in the Ferrari - taking part in a paint swapping fight with Porsche driver Peter Fitzgerald in the opening Winton race.
Cylinder head dramas caused overheating problems for the battered Ferrari which headed race two (bandaged with matching red race tape) with Jim Ze refos' Lotus in tow for the early laps.
Bowe is eagerly awaiting the opportunity to stretch the Ferrari's legs on Phillip Island's long sweeping straight. "I'd like to think the car will be quite good there but it may be lacking a bit of downforce," Bowe said. "Without the rear wing like the Porsche 911 RS CS and Lotus Esprit, it may suffer slightly. "But it certainly has plenty of horsepower which will be an advantage."