Land Rover Defender goes rallying: Bowler transforms reborn icon for 2022 Challenge series

Land Rover Defender goes rallying: Bowler transforms reborn icon for 2022 Challenge series

29.07.2021: New Bowler Defender: Competition-prepared Land Rover Defender 90 showcases the very best of Bowler’s motorsport expertise Bowler conversion: Rally revisions include performance upgrades to suspension, modified underbody, fitment of roll cage and



    New Bowler Defender: Competition-prepared Land Rover Defender 90 showcases the very best of Bowler’s motorsport expertise


    Bowler conversion: Rally revisions include performance upgrades to suspension, modified underbody, fitment of roll cage and unique Bowler wheels


    Perfect starting point: Builds on Land Rover Defender’s unstoppable capability, robust durability and natural balance


    Bowler Defender Challenge: New rally competition series announced for 2022, exclusively featuring the all-new Bowler Defender


    2022 Challenge: Seven UK-based rounds will feature in the single-series competition with the full support of Bowler




Bowler Motors, the off-road performance specialist, has revealed the Land Rover Defender rally car that will compete in its own championship in 2022.




The Bowler Defender Challenge is based on the Land Rover Defender 90 with a 300PS Ingenium 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine. Bowler uses its long experience of competition to transform it into a rally car with a full roll cage, modified underbody, raised suspension, rally-spec 18-inch wheels and column-mounted paddle shifters.



Since going on sale in 2020 the Land Rover Defender has won acclaim from customers and media for its unstoppable capability, engaging drive and overall robustness. The more compact shorter wheelbase Defender 90 proved the perfect starting point for the Bowler conversion.



The rally Defenders are built for their own competition – the Bowler Defender Challenge series – on seven events around the UK in 2022.



Michael van der Sande, Managing Director, Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations, said:
“The development of the new Bowler Defender Challenge rally car perfectly illustrates the mutual benefits of Bowler joining Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations.



Our technical support married to Bowler’s legendary rally expertise has turned the extraordinarily capable Defender into a purposeful competition machine. The Bowler Defender Challenge will prove the Defender’s durability through some of the toughest conditions, while providing an exciting and accessible entry point into all-terrain motorsport for a new generation of Bowler and Land Rover customers.”




Bowler Defender Challenge: the car



Each Bowler Defender Challenge is completely stripped back to install a full FIA-standard roll cage. The front and rear subframes are modified and given additional bracing for a new bespoke performance suspension set-up. Designed in collaboration with Fox, it increases the ride height by 25mm. This purposeful stance is enhanced by new Bowler rally-spec 18-inch wheels.



Bowler’s engineers have provided a suite of electronic components, from fire protection and electrical cut-offs to additional lighting and vehicle control systems – all fully integrated into the existing electrical architecture. Competition race seats are installed and the gear selector is repositioned for the optimal racing position. Bowler-developed column-mounted paddle shifts complete the transition.



During the conversion Bowler subtly modify and stiffen the already extraordinarily rigid Defender bodyshell to cope with the extreme conditions of off-road competition.



The standard doors are trimmed to remove the sill covering section, which allows the fitment of full-length, side-to-side underbody protection panels. A modified front end increases airflow to the cooling system and houses additional race-level lighting, while a new roof spoiler houses additional rear lighting.





Bowler Defender Challenge: the competition



The 2022 Challenge will run over seven UK-based rounds, with dates and locations to be announced later in the year. There are 12 entries available for the one-make series, with each team competing in identical Bowler-prepared Defenders. The series is open to veteran competitors and those with no competition experience.



For those with limited experience or none, Bowler can offer training and support to gain the necessary licence before moving directly to the series. 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.



The competition calendar covers the UK and each Bowler Defender Challenge-equipped team will face a true mix of rally conditions. For each round there will be a full Bowler support team, with dedicated service areas. A hospitality area will help drivers and teams make the most of downtime and attend briefings throughout the events. The Challenge will enjoy full coverage through national and Bowler media channels.



Bowler’s own Bowler Defender Challenge car will make its public debut at the Iceland Hill Rally 400km stage rally on 6-8 August.



Calum Mckechnie, Bowler General Manager, said: “The previous Defender Challenge powered by Bowler Motorsport was an incredible success. So we are delighted to announce the new Bowler Defender Challenge, launch the series and provide this amazing opportunity to experience Bowler in its natural environment.


Using the team’s unique skills, knowledge and experience, developed over years of challenge and rally raid competition, has resulted in a formidable competition vehicle that will be exciting and rewarding to drive.”



Packages for the 2022 Challenge will start at £99,500 which includes a Bowler-prepared Defender Challenge car, entry into the 2022 series, which starts in March, and event support. Further options include training, series logistics and vehicle support. A range of accessories developed as part of this programme will be available later in the year.



Further information on the Bowler Defender Challenge can be found at bowlermotors.com



Bowler Land Rover Defender Challenge Car specification (modifications from base).




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:


    Cooling – auxiliary radiators removed and system redesigned to increase airflow to main radiator
    Increased transmission cooling capacity
    Bowler Sports exhaust system
    Bowler 18” wheels with increased strength
    All-terrain 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


Design:


    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



Rally 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




Bowler is granted use of the Defender name under licence from Jaguar Land Rover.



Land Rover UK- also photo

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/defender-goes-rallying-bowler-transforms-icon-challenge-series---227030.html

29.07.2021 / MaP

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