The first appearance of the Bowman BC1.

Steve Hollman started in motor racing working for his brother Vic who had formed the PRS F Ford 1600 and F Ford 2000 manufacturing company. Hollman then moved to Ralt Cars and in 1987 he was in charge of Eddie Jordan's team that won the British F3 Championship with Johnny Herbert. For 1988 Hollman formed his own team, Bowman Racing, run from Gomm Metal Developments base in Woking, Surrey. The team ran a pair of Ralt RT32s in the British Championship and finished second in the standings with Gary Brabham winning three of the last four races. For 1989 it was even better with with David Brabham taking the Lucas Championship in a Ralt RT33, Steve Robertson finished fifth in a similar car and the team took first and second in the Class B for year-old cars with their RT32s. They continued with the RT33s in 1990, taking third and fifth with Steve Robertson and Peter Kox and once again winning in Class B with Charles Rickett. In an effort to get an edge over their rivals they built their own car in 1991 running it alongside a Ralt RT35.

This picture emphasises the low sleek look of the BC1.

The rear of the BC1 showing the enclosed rear suspension.
The first Bowman was designed by Bruce Cary (hence BC1), Cary having had some 12 years experience of engineering F3 cars especially Ralts. The whole car was based around its Spiess VW engine, the chassis was built of carbon-fibre composite with the extensive use of Kevlar. Suspension was pushrod at the front, pullrod at the rear and both the front and rear tracks were as narrow as possible to minimise the whole width of the car. The whole car looked very small and low compared with its rivals and every possible aerodynamic advantage was looked for including fairing in the rear suspension.
The car was late out, originally intended to be out in 1990 it didn't get on the tracks until the winter. Following an abortive test at Silverstone with Steve Robertson the narrow track suspension and enclosed bodywork were dropped and the contemporary coke-bottle shape and a wider track were adopted. Unfortunately for Bowman the Spiess VW wasn't the engine to have and lead driver Steve Robertson didn't like it so the team were stuck with running the BC1 and a Ralt RT35. Osvaldo Negri had some good runs and took a couple of thirds.
The BC2 at the Bowman factory.

"Jules" Boullion in the BC2 at Monaco.
The BC2 was an evolution of the BC1, the all-composite chassis was designed by Damon Chandler and had a larger cockpit than the BC1 and much more resembled its contemporaries. Mechanically it was almost identical to the BC1. Two cars went to France and Boullion won three races in the French Championship with his VW powered example finishing fourth in the final standings. Some cars were sold to Japan but results were very disappointing there with no top six finishes.
Olivier Thevinin testing the BC3 at Snetterton.

The BC4 which seems to have taken several pages from the 1993 Dallara design book, note the front wing and sidepod designs.
The BC3, the 1993 car, was introduced at the end of 1992 and was heavily based on the BC2, there was a new tub and modified front suspension. Sadly the modifications seem to have moved the car backwards, Christophe Tinseau raced the car in France but struggled, switching to a Dallara he was immediately on the pace indicating the problem was the chassis not the driver. In Japan Souda Takeshi similarly found the BC3 a midfield runner in the one race he used it for, he too then took the Dallara option.
At the end of the year Jamie Spence appeared for the last couple of Japanese races in the BC4. The new car was mechanically virtually identical to the BC3 but it was heavily modified aerodynamically. Spence failed to qualify for one race with engine woes, he then qualified 25th and finished tenth in the final race indicating the new car was no better than the old one. Other than a brief appearance in the B class for year-old cars in 1994 with both the BC4 and the BC3 this was Bowman's last show in F3.
1991 Olivia Beretta, Yukihiro Hane, Osvaldo Negri, Steve Robertson.

Eric Angelvy, "Jules" Boullion, Franck Guibbert, Shinsuke Shibahara, Takeshi Souda, Kouji Takahashi.

Olivier Thevenin.


Jamie Spence.

Martyn Koene, Nicolas Leboissetier, Souda Takeshi, Christophe Tinseau.

Hiroyuki Aoki, Jean-Claude de Castelli, Miguel de Castro, Yukihiro Hane, Ryou Michigami, Jamie Spence, Kazuteru Wakida, Stephen Watson.


Piers Hunnisett.

Davide Campana.

2000 BC2
Jukka Ylitalo.