Bowler Defender Challenge competitors complete test and training event ahead of full Championship launch next month

Posted on 22 February 2022


2022 sees the return of the Bowler Defender Challenge, a one-make production class series where 12 teams will compete over 7 different UK rally events throughout the year. All competitors will compete in identical Bowler-prepared vehicles based on the latest generation Defender 90. This weekend the competitors experienced their first event of the season, a test and training event at The Forest Experience in Carno, Wales.

Designed to introduce the teams to the reality of rallying and preparing them for the challenges they will need to overcome as a team, the event split over two days of driver and navigator training. With a wide range of experience, from absolute novice through to experienced rally raid participants, the intensive training covered all disciplines. Drivers gained their first experience behind the wheel of the 2022 Bowler Defender Rally car and navigators had the chance for group and one-to-one sessions with experienced competitors. The Bowler team challenged drivers with a special stage, utilising the rally school environment, complete with start, stop and pits. 


Day two saw the teams observe an example incident recovery, giving them insight into the steps to be taken should they experience an accident during competition. With doctor, paramedics and recovery professionals on site the full simulation covered all major eventualities, including correct recovery procedure for a crashed vehicle. Later in the day the drivers were paired with a professional co-driver, giving many of them their first experience of constant narration and direction whilst driving. Similarly, competitor co-drivers were placed in car with a Bowler instructor as driver, giving them the chance to practice their duties under the intense pressure of high-speed rally driving.

Bowler General Manager Calum Mckechnie comments “It was fantastic to see the competitors all experience the new Bowler Defender Challenge car in a realistic rally environment. For many this is the first time not only in the car, but also on a proper rally stage. Feedback on the car has been incredibly positive and after so much hard work by so many people we’re all really excited for the first competitive event of the season at Walters Arena in two weeks’ time. The Bowler Defender Challenge has been designed to be open to all levels of experience, competing in a production series car, and it’s great to see Bowler back on the rally scene”.

The 2022 Bowler Defender Challenge kicks off at Walters Arena, Wales on the 5th and 6th of March. The event will be preceded with each team receiving their new Bowler Defender Challenge car at an official handover.

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