Following a hugely successful first season of exciting and close fought competition, off-road performance specialists Bowler have today announced the Defender Rally Series for 2023. The Defender has proven to be an incredibly tough, durable and capable platform from which to grow the series in the UK and beyond. Designed for novices and competition veterans alike, the Defender Rally Series by Bowler consists of 12 teams taking part in nine events, including seven competitive rounds in identical Defender rally cars. After the first private round, fully supported teams participate in six rounds of public events in which they will develop both the driving and organisational skills required of open competitive motorsport.
Building on the popularity of the Tata Elxsi Bowler Defender Challenge for 2022, the Defender Rally Series by Bowler has been specifically designed to offer entrants the chance to gain rally motorsport experience and know-how, facilitating progression to rally-raid events. Bowler can offer the necessary support and training enabling entrants to achieve the correct licencing in order to compete in the UK and internationally.
The UK Championship provides an inclusive team atmosphere with full technical support on hand at every event. The professional presence of the team, with comprehensive on-event spares support and team hospitality area creates a true paddock within the paddock and underlines Bowler’s unique proposition and commitment to the sport. As a result, the camaraderie among current teams has been exceptional while still remaining highly competitive, with demand continuing to grow within the UK and overseas.
Packages for the 2023 UK Championship will start at £108,334 (plus VAT). This includes purchase and full ownership of a brand-new, fully converted rally car, based upon the latest road registered model year Defender 90 P300, management through nine events, including seven competitive championship rounds with full works support consisting of a dedicated team of race technicians, event hospitality, professional guidance, access to a fully stocked spares container and support unit, plus training. Competition organiser race entry fees are additional to the Bowler package.
A number of additional support options are available, these include Arrive and Drive whereby the rally car is entirely managed by Bowler for the duration of the 2023 UK Championship; cars are professionally managed, cleaned, inspected, repaired where required, stored between competitions and delivered to each round ready to race. Rounds take place in remote areas around the UK so this option is particularly attractive for time poor or international drivers. Further options include licence development and bespoke training delivered by a professional rally driver.
Calum McKechnie, Bowler General Manager, comments: “The 2022 Defender Bowler Championship has exceeded expectations on all fronts. As we anticipated, the latest generation Defender has proven to be a highly capable and extremely tough rally car which continues to surprise and thrill anyone who has experienced it. It has delivered incredibly close competition amongst the teams whilst still competing aggressively against the competition in the open rounds. Above all, the team camaraderie and relationships formed around the Championship have been a highlight which has attracted many new interested customers.”
The provisional 2023 UK Championship calendar is as follows*:
|1||4/5 March||Walters Arena||Comp Safari|
|2||15 April||Rally Nuts Stages||Stage Rally (Gravel)|
|4||8 July||Nicky Grist Stages Rally||Stage Rally (Gravel)|
|5||22/23 September||Trackrod Rally||Stage Rally (Gravel)|
|6||28 October||Cambrian Rally||Stage Rally (Gravel)|
|7||November||TBD||Hill Rally/Stage Rally (Gravel)|
*All dates and events are to be confirmed.
Dave Marsh, Bowler Head of Motorsport, comments: “We knew from our initial test programme with a pre-production Defender we had the basis of a rally car that would deliver great poise and stability under race conditions – essential for new drivers but still bringing great capability for experienced drivers. The big test was always going to be whether our 2022 competitors agreed, the answer has been an unequivocal yes! It’s been fantastic to see the cars relative performance against very serious competition in the diverse range of events selected for the Championship.”
The 2023 UK Championship will benefit even further from Bowler’s pedigree and experience which has helped this year’s racers hone their skills. The 2023 season will be even more keenly fought in a car that turns heads wherever it goes. Bowler is pleased to offer this opportunity which provides unique challenges, adventures and experiences that embody the Bowler team spirit and pedigree.