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Australia Australia

Bowe to step back from TCM racing

Australian racing legend John Bowe has announced that 2023 will be his last full season in Touring Car Masters.

John Bowe - TCM 100 wins

The six-time TCM champion will step back from full-time competition in the series at the end of this season, which is being billed as his Testimonial Tour.

The veteran isn't hanging up the helmet entirely, though, with this decision aimed a diversifying his racing with appearances at historic events both home and abroad, long-distance races and more.

Bowe has been a fixture of the TCM series, which features purpose-built touring cars based on historic body shapes, since 2008, the year after he retired from racing Supercars.

At the time it was a high-profile coup for the series, Bowe's CV boasting an Australian Touring Car Championship crown, two Bathurst 1000 wins and two Gold Star titles.

Bowe's best TCM success came in his iconic Ford Mustang named Sally, Bowe winning titles in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015 in the car.

He then sold Sally in 2016 and moved to a Holden Torana, adding two more titles in 2016 and 2021.

“I love Touring Car Masters. It has been and continues to be a very important part of my life, both in motorsport and beyond that," said Bowe.

“I have spoken before about how important it was to go back to racing following my retirement from Supercars in 2007 and it was TCM that filled that hole in my life for me.

"I’ve had an incredible time, made many new friends and been able to compete with many old ones along the way.

“The racing is sensational. The cars are great to drive and the competition is fantastic, but the vibe in the paddock is the best thing about it. It’s great fun car racing. Everyone is enthusiastic and the fans love the category which makes it all the better to turn up at each round knowing you’re putting on a show people enjoy watching.

“This year felt like the right time to step back from the full-time campaign and have a look at some other things I want to do in motorsport.

“I’ll go racing with my mate Joe [Calleja] in historic racing, do some endurance races I enjoy like the Bathurst 6 Hour and other bits and pieces.

“I’m not retiring: I probably won’t ever retire. It’s just ‘ciao for now’ from TCM in a sense of competing in every round.

“I’m not ruling out more racing in the category. If someone throws me the keys to a car for a round here or there I’d find it impossible to say no!”

The 2023 TCM season will kick off at Symmons Plains, in Bowe's native Tasmania, on February 24-26.

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