Bowler Defender Challenge

The 2022 Bowler Defender Challenge will be a one-make rally series designed to act as a feeder series for global rally-raid competitions, including the annual Dakar rally.

Regulated by the MSA (Motor Sports Association) and operated by Bowler the competition will see 12 teams compete in identical Bowler-prepared Defenders across seven rounds taking place across the UK. The entrants will face a representative range of challenging rally conditions, including gravel, forest and hill rally stages.

The series is open to veteran competitors and those with no previous competition experience. For those with limited, or no prior, experience Bowler can offer training and support to gain the necessary licence before moving directly to the competition series. In the past the Challenge has been an ideal platform on which to gain motorsport know-how before joining other Bowlers and competing in rally raid events across the globe.

For 2022 and beyond, the Challenge will continue to focus on delivering a fun environment that fosters the development of driving and competition skills yet retains the involving, engaging feel of a real motorsport family within the paddock. For each round there will be a full Bowler support team, with dedicated pit areas. In addition, there will be a team hospitality area where drivers and teams can make the most of downtime and attend briefings throughout the events. The Challenge will enjoy full coverage through national and Bowler media channels.

The Bowler Defender Challenge car is based on a 300PS 2.0 litre petrol turbo-charged Land Rover Defender 90. From here Bowler, using its knowledge and experience of challenge and rally raid competition, transforms the car into its new role as a competition vehicle. Each Defender Challenge car will be FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) compliant enabling competitors to compete internationally.

The 2022 Bowler Defender Challenge calendar will be published in September 2022.


Download the Bowler Defender Challenge PDF

Base car

• Land Rover Defender 90
• 300PS 2.0 litre turbo charged
• 8 speed automatic transmission

Bowler Conversion to competition specification

Structural body and chassis• Monocoque bracing – minimises body movement and supports underbody protection
• Full internal roll cage integrated with body and linking suspension mounts
• Internal spare wheel mount integrated to roll cage
• Additional front recovery points
• Rally-spec gearbox cross member
• Stiffened gearbox mounts
• Strengthened engine mounts
• Braced front and rear subframes
• Front suspension turret brace
• Rear turret brace
• Strengthened radiator mounts
• Adapted chassis and subframe mounts
Performance• Improved cooling – auxiliary radiators removed and increased airflow to main radiator
• Increased transmission cooling capacity
• Sports exhaust system
• Bowler 18” wheels with increased strength
• BF Goodrich AT tyres
• Bespoke suspension design with modified subframes, new springs and unique turrets for increased stiffness
• Bespoke Fox dampers
• Race steering wheel with quick release boss
• Side air intake covers
• High level air intake
• Front upper wishbone revised to reflect new ride height geometry
Electrical/systems• ECU system integration with race box
• ABS/DSC – rally control modifications
• New integrated wiring harness for new components
• New rally-spec facia
• Navigator control unit for lights/washer/horn
• Rally system integration with JLR safety systems
• Adapted body control unit
Regulatory• High-level rear marker lights
• Alpine, door and rear windows replaced with polycarbonate
• Race sports seats with specific race seat mounts
• 6-point race harness
• Integrated and hand-held fire suppression
• Electrical cut-off switches – internal and external
• Complete removal of all airbag systems
Styling• Front bumper adapted to take new underbody protection
• Bowler front grille with increased air flow
• Rear roof spoiler with extended profile and integrated additional reversing lights
• Front and rear wing shields to meet new underbody protection
• Wheel arch extensions utilising accessory fitment
• Door lowers – protection pieces on shortened doors
Function• Additional bonnet-mounted windscreen washers – to deal with rally levels of water splash
• Front driving lights for increased night driving illumination
• Rally-spec mudflaps
• Full underbody protection system – 6mm aluminium reinforced design
• New gear shift position – optimised to sports seats
• Column-mounted gear shift paddles – unique to Bowler
• Passenger foot rest
• Rear door manual release mechanism
• Wheel arch lines – increased strength to meet rally requirements

Find Out More

To find out more about the Bowler Defender Challenge services, please get in touch.

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