British born Tony Dowe has joined the ranks of Team 18, bringing his wealth of experience from Formula 1, IndyCar, Sportscar and Supercars.
The engineer has joined Team 18 as a Purchasing Manager, and will oversee the upkeep of the team’s spare parts inventory as they transition into the Gen3 Technical Regulations.
Along with drivers Scott Pye and the newly re-signed Mark Winterbottom, Dowe will see the team transform from Holden to the Gen3 Chevrolet Camaro.
In a critical phase for the restructuring of the team into the new era of Supercars, Dowe’s appointment is aimed at enhancing their capabilities to ensure the team is in a position to succeed when the 2023 regulations are implemented.
Dowe’s wealth of international experience includes being the former managing director of Tom Walkinshaw Racing’s US arm, which won both the Le Mans 24 and Daytona 24 Hour in the 1980’s and 1990’s with its successful Jaguar Sportscar program.
He was also involved with the Newman-HAAS IndyCar team in championship winning seasons, and has F1 experience through Ensign, Brabham, Wolf, Ligier and Arrows.
Dowe’s Supercars experience has previously been with Kelly Racing as performance director in 2011, and as Engineering and Development Manager for Walkinshaw in 2012.
“I’m happy to join Team 18, knowing many of the people in the team already,” Dowe said.
“It’s good to work with people that are wanting to achieve as opposed to just rocking up to work every day. There’s a fresh impetus to get things right which makes walking through the door every day a nice feeling.
“I was in my garage at home working on my go-kart and Dennis (Huijser, Team 18 Crew Chief) called me, I enjoyed working with him back in the Walkinshaw days and we have a very heads-up relationship, and we went from there. It’s enjoyable for someone to pick up the phone and ask you to come and help and be part of the growing structure of the team.”
“Gen3 is a huge undertaking because it is a complete car with very little carry-over from anything else previously. It’s an opportunity to put in place some structure for how we manage inventory and control what we order and look after the dollars and cents, because cash flow is always the thing that we must keep an eye on.
“I’ve been there and bought the t-shirt in so many other areas. I’m excited to find a situation where everything runs smoothly, we have all the bits we want in the time frame we need it as opposed to scrambling around at the last minute. There’s 97 working days until the first of February next year and that’s going to be a killer for all teams up and down pit lane if you don’t stay on top of things.”
Team 18’s owner, Charlie Schwerkolt, is delighted to have the experience of Dowe heading into the uncharted waters of the Gen3 program.
“We are pleased to have Tony agree to join Team 18, he possesses an outstanding wealth of successful racing experience and is a valuable addition to our racing operations,” Schwerkolt commented.
“With new developments emerging daily for Gen3, it was critical for us to be on the front foot to prepare for the build of the new cars without compromising our focus on the final three rounds of this year’s championship, and appointments like this will contribute to that.”
“To have someone of Tony’s experience in the team is invaluable and we have no doubt the entire team will be able to feed off his years of success in all forms of motorsport to drive the team forwards.”
Team 18 faces its final Bathurst test day at Winton Raceway on September 28 before it heads to the ‘The Mountain’ to tackle Australia’s greatest show in motorsport on October 6-9.
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