DAVID WALL has credited friend, former rival and Bathurst winner John Bowe for aiding a return to his Production Car racing roots in this weekend’s Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour enduro.
The Sydneysider, who has spent the last several seasons racing full-time in the V8 Supercars Championship, will team with Bowe this weekend in the Alan East-owned Mitsubishi Evo 9 – a car that Wall drove and Bowe competed against in the Bathurst 12 Hour’s Production Car days.
Wall qualified the same car he’ll drive this weekend on pole for the 2008 12-Hour and also raced it the following two years – finishing fifth in 2008, fourth in 2009 and crossing the line second in 2010 – behind Bowe – before later being excluded for tyre issues.
Bowe won the Bathurst 12 Hour race for Production Cars in 2010 and with Wall’s support is an early favourite to do the same in the inaugural 6-hour this weekend.
“It’s been a while between being in the car,” Wall said.
“JB was a big instigator of putting it all together. He spoke to Alan (East) and he’s always wanted to drive the car. The last time it raced at Bathurst it was against JB and he won it in the BMW – but we were racing him pretty hard at the time.
“He always had a bit of a thing about the car, I think, and he spoke to Alan and managed to get the deal together with Wilsons and Payce and here we are ready to go.”
Wall said the length of time between stints behind the wheel of the all-wheel-drive turbocharged Mitsubishi, and the Bathurst 6 Hour’s control tyre deal with Hankook, would ensure that Friday’s pair of 50-minute practice sessions would be vital learning experiences.
“Friday for us is about gathering as much information as we can on the Hankook tyre and making sure it can go for six hours – or as long as it can. Then it’s a case of finding out what our outright pace is,” he explained.
“We’ll also need to make JB comfortable... He’s a bit shorter than me so we’ll fix him up with a seat runner and some different lap belts and see how we go.
“I’m looking forward to getting back in the car. It’s a pretty laid back weekend but we’re here to have a go and I’m looking forward to getting back in a car with four-wheel-drive.”
Noted for jumping behind the wheel of a variety of cars, Wall is enthusiastic about the return of a stand-alone Production Car enduro to Mount Panorama.
“I think anything here is big – if you had a bicycle race here you’d come up and do it. It’s such an enjoyable place to drive and when you’re in a good car that’s treating you well it’s even better.
“To come up here and race is always good.”