Competitors in the VHT S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship will be fighting it out for more than just points this weekend, with the round winner to receive the John Bowe trophy.
Named in honour of the 1984-1985 Australian Drivers’ Champion and Australian Touring Car great John Bowe, the trophy will continue the championship’s new tradition of recognising the long history of Australia’s premier open-wheel award.
In round one, Thomas Randle took out the John McCormack Trophy while round two winner Joey Mawson was presented with the Alfie Costanzo Trophy, honouring the four-time winner of the award.
A deserving individual to have the trophy be named after, Bowe won 14 Australian Drivers’ Championship races after debuting in the late 1970s and won the Gold Star twice when racing a Ralt RT4 during the Australian Formula 2 era.
Scheduled to be on hand during the championship’s third round, which acts as a support category to the Repco Supercars Championship, Bowe was thrilled to be associated with the category he has been a vocal supporter of since its creation.
“Back then, I went from racing a Formula 3 with 130hp, to an F5000 with way over 500hp. Put it this way, it got my attention.” Bowe said.
“I think S5000 is the epitome of what F5000 would have evolved into had it continued.
"The ground shakes, and you just know they are serious race cars. It’s the best thing to happen for open-wheeler racing in over 30 years.
“I’m honoured to put my name to the trophy at Sandown. Driving those big powerful cars was one of the most exciting and challenging times in my career, and so it's good to see Australia’s young up-and-coming drivers looking towards that same challenge, and a potential career, in S5000.”
S5000 Category Development Manager Chris Lambden believed was Bowe was the perfect individual to name the award after.
“Right now, we couldn’t think of anyone more appropriate to have their name on an S5000 trophy,” Lambden said.
“Apart from the obvious on-track background – which is still going on – JB’s current public confrontation with prostate cancer, and his use of that to send a message to men about it, makes it doubly appropriate.
“JB is an ongoing Legend of Australian motorsport, so whoever ends up with this trophy on their cabinet will have a very worthwhile piece of memorabilia."
The VHT S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship will have three races during the Penrite Oil Sandown SuperSprint at Sandown Raceway on 19-21 March.