Stuart Bowes is set to make his debut at the Adelaide Rally in December behind the wheel a genuine World Rally Championship factory-prepared Group A Toyota Celica GT-Four, one of just a handful left in the world.
"These cars were the very last of the Group A era before switching to what has become known as the World Rally Car formula,” Bowes said.
“What made them special was the manufacturer had to produce a limited edition homologation version of the road car so it could be used in competition, either on a circuit or in rallying.”
Stuart Bowes will drive his ex-Freddy Loix Celica GT-Four in the Adelaide Rally. Photo: Stuey Daddow
Having travelled all over the world covering international motor shows, grand prix and rallies for the last 25 years with his motorsport photo agency, Bowes says Adelaide turns on one of the best events he's seen anywhere.
Turning 50 a few years back, he made up his mind he was going to build a collection of classic rally cars before it was too late.
"If you had told me back in the 1990s that I would own one of the actual cars used in the World Rally Championship that I was photographing at the time, I would never have believed you, but it just goes to show what you can do with a bit of passion and determination."
Bowes will be joined in the Adelaide Rally by a stalwart of South Australian motorsport, Jeremy Browne. A previous clerk of course for Classic Adelaide, South Australian Rally Champion co-driver and international competitor for more than four decades, Jeremy was the very reason Stuart became interesting in rallying during the 1970s.
Stuart Bowes (right) and Jeremy Browne - Toyota Celica GT-Four - 2017 Adelaide Rally
"Jeremy was a family friend and during my teenage years he got me involved in rallying and I've never looked back.
“His drive and dedication to the sport spurred me on and has seen me travel the world in a privileged job few people will ever get to experience. I'm repaying the 'favour' by having him alongside me in my Adelaide Rally debut, where both of us will be at home for a change. His experience is second to none on this rally."
Stuart thinks so highly of the event he's encouraged interstate ‘rally guys’ to take the punt and join him for the three days of competition around the Adelaide Hills.
Former multiple Australian Rally Champions, Neal Bates and Coral Taylor, are also making their Adelaide Rally debut in their Australian Rally Championship winning Toyota Celica GT-Four, whilst fellow Canberran, Darryl Bush, with former ARC winning co-driver, Mark Nelson, have entered a very special Toyota Corolla WRC.
"I've even motivated Graham Alexander to bring his giant Monaro over from Geelong for a spin around the hills," Bowes added.
"Shifting the event to early December works a treat and has enabled us to bring our cars out into the summer sun. The motor racing world is flat out from January to November, so it's not until late in the year we can make the time to enjoy our passion with all the worries of the season put behind.
"It's going to be a great weekend of motorsport. Adelaide can hold its head high being able to put on such a wonderful event that just grows larger every year.
“After waiting so long for the chance, I'm finally looking forward to driving on my local roads in a car that has actually been used on the icy tarmac of the world famous Monte Carlo Rally."
Stuart Bowes, Toyota Celica GT-Four. Photo: Stuey Daddy
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