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State Champ takes on nations best in Sports Sedan

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Mark Bowen raced his VK Commodore Sports Sedan to top 10 results at the Sports Sedan race at Bathurst in February
Mark Bowen raced his VK Commodore Sports Sedan to top 10 results at the Sports Sedan race at Bathurst in February

Mark Bowen is a rather rapid driver hailing from Toowoomba in Queensland – the same Toowoomba that Indycar’s Will Power once called home.

Bowen competes for the love of the game – the love of driving and the love of building a car to race.

Racing a Sports Sedan – a space frame with a body shell on top is one of Australia’s fastest forms of motorsport and one of the few remaining forms of motorsport where you can play engineer on your car – tinker with it to come up with something different.

The cars should be based on something that has 5000 examples – in Mark’s case a VK Commodore.  Beyond looking like a VK Commodore, Mark’s car is something very different.

‘It is custom built race car– we have a six litre Chev engine, a Hollinger gearbox and quick change diff,’ Mark said in an interview with RacerViews.

‘A lot of preparation work is required prior to each race meeting with these cars, to keep them reliable and consistent.’

‘It isn’t as good through the corners as a V8 Supercar as they have a lot more development on them but it is pretty quick.’

Mark usually competes in State rounds in Queensland, taking out the 2011 CAMS State Championship with 10 wins from 12 races.

He occasionally runs nationally, for 2012 – both at Mt Panorama and the Shannons Nationals at Queensland Raceway.

‘It is custom built race car– we have a six litre Chev engine, a Hollinger gearbox and quick change diff

In these two races, he went up against the nation’s best drivers and fastest carsTony Ricciardello’s Alfa is infamous in Australian racing circles.

Against these guys with more experience and more developed cars, he produced the goods at both rounds.

Two top 10 finishes at Mt Panorama and three at Queensland Raceway.

‘I’m happy with how the weekend went,’ Bowen said after the final race.

‘We’re racing up against some of the fastest guys in the country and to achieve a sixth place finish was great for the team.’

‘In the final race we were battling for eighth and I missed out by about a bumper bar.’

The final thrilling race saw Bowen lose out by under one tenth of a second.

Bowen will aim to compete at additional State rounds for the rest of 2012.

He has already signed up for the 2013 visit to Mt Panorama – where the Sport Sedans act as a support race to the Bathurst 12 Hour.

In the mean time, Bowen will continue to develop his skills and his car, always looking for another opportunity to take the custom prepared VK Commodore out for another run.

You can fin more information on the Kerrick Sports Sedan series here.

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Article & Photos by Sam Tickell, August 2012

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