News

Big Mercedes guns for victory in the Classic Outback Trial

The latest entry in the 2020 Classic Outback Trail is the Mercedes Benz 450 SLC of South Australians Stuart Bowes and co-driver Jeremy Browne.

The pair will try their luck in the big 5.0 litre V8 Merc over the seven days of the Classic Outback Trial which starts early in November and is based around Parkes, Orange & Bathurst in the Central West of NSW.

Bowes beautifully built German machine will be having its first appearance of the year.

“It’s been a plan of mine for some years to take part in this wonderful event but for one reason or another I just haven’t been able to get things to line up.” 

“I really enjoy the endurance nature of longer stages and longer events but I missed my chance in NSW some years ago and more recently in the NT.  Given the years are marching on way too quick for both of us, it was now or never,” said Stuart.

“When I saw the likes of Pete Glennie, Adam Kaplan, Hilary Evans and Shane Attwell had all put their names down, I thought it’s got to be this year.”

The recently announced change of date from August to November sealed the deal for Bowes, as his year was already looking pretty busy.

Stuart’s co-driver, Jeremy Browne, needs no introduction, his list of rally endeavours both throughout Australia and around the world is significant. Multiple South Australian Rally Champion navigator and regular Australian Rally Championship competitor for more than 40 years are features of Jeremy’s motorsport CV.

On the other hand, Stuart has made a name for himself in motorsport as a world renowned photographer. After more than 30 years he recently put away the cameras to forge a driving career in classic rallying.

Stuart has consistently finished on the podium and won the 2019 Rally of the Heartland in SA, but this time Stuart is fulfilling a promise to Jeremy to do an event together in the “Merc”.

“It’s Jeremy’s fault I got involved in rallying in the late 1970’s and I’ve never lost the passion.”   

“Ace Engineer Garry Kirk and his team built the car from scratch and it’s perfect for this type of event.”

The 2020 Classic Outback Trial will start in the Central West NSW town of Parkes on Sunday, 1 November.

After two days of special stage rallying around Parkes, the event will move to Orange for two nights before heading further east to Bathurst for the final three days.

COT20 will finish on Saturday 7 November with the much-anticipated celebration and presentation dinner to be held at the famous Mt Panorama Motor Racing Circuit.

More information
COT Rally nominations
A guide to the 2020 Classic Outback Trial

More pics of the Bowes/Browne Mercedes Benz…