Bowler Motorsport – makers of the Bowler Wildcat and Nemesis – have launched a one-make rally series based on the Land Rover Defender called Defender Challenge by Bowler.
Complete with backing from Land Rover, the one-make series will commence in 2014 and will consist of seven races across the UK. The series will be regulated by Motor Sports Association (MSA) and the cars will comply with FIA regulations, allowing competitors to compete internationally.
The car is based on the short wheelbase Defender 90 Hard Top model, and makes use of the standard four-cylinder 2.2-litre turbo diesel engine and six-speed manual transmission. The engine has been tuned to produce 170hp and 450Nm of torque, while other modifications include: an MSA-approved roll cage; racing seats; Bowler Motorsport suspension, which includes new dampers, springs, roll bars and bushes; 18-inch wheels with Kumho tyres; intercom system; and a fire extinguisher.
Despite the cars being built for rallying, the cars will still be road-legal, allowing participants to drive their cars to events. While the rally series will be based in the UK, there will also be an option for participants to compete in North Africa and the Middle East.
The Defender Challenge car will cost £50,000 including VAT, while entry will cost between £10,000 and £14,000 depending on the package selected. The car will only be supplied through Bowler Motorsport, and the series is expected to begin in March 2014 in Newton, Wales (subject to confirmation).