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James @ LPR

Member Since: 01 Oct 2014
Location: Park Royal, London
Posts: 15

United Kingdom 
Lookers enters the Land Rover Defender Challenge

To celebrate ‘Defender’ for one last time before production ends, Lookers are entering a vehicle into 2015 Defender Challenge series. This is the first time that we have entered the world of motorsport, so as you can imagine we are all pretty excited!

The event starts in Somerset this weekend and travels around the UK. There is also talk of the Challenge heading to Ireland, and also possibly Morocco.

Our vehicle which is a new 15my Defender 90 Tdci XS Hardtop is currently being converted to rally spec by Bowler Motorsport who run the series. The car will predominantly branded as ‘Lookers’ however during the Scottish rounds will be ‘Taggarts’ and in Ireland ‘Charles Hurst’ who are our sister dealerships.

Unfortunately our vehicle will just miss the first round in Somerset, however we intend to run our vehicle for the first time at the Welsh Hill Rally.

Defender Challenge Schedule 2015:

April 18th Somerset Stages, Minehead
May 2nd / 3rd Welsh Hill Rally, Sweetlamb
June 26th / 28th Goodwood Festival of Speed (not competitive)
July 18th / 19th Walters Hill Rally, Walters Arena
September 26th Trackrod Rally, Yorkshire
November 7th Tempest Rally, Aldershot
November 22nd / 23rd Borders Hill Rally, Dumfries

We will post more information soon, along with photographs of the build. If you are interested in joining the team and supporting us at any of the events then please drop me an email to and I will keep you informed of specific rally information.

Without giving too much away, please also let me know if there are any BARS qualified drivers amongst the forum as we could be looking at guest drives!

For more details of the Challenge then please visit:


James Thumbs Up

Post #260652 16th Apr 2015 3:30 pm
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James @ LPR

Member Since: 01 Oct 2014
Location: Park Royal, London
Posts: 15

United Kingdom 

A little more information for you, hot off the press!

■2015 Defender Challenge by Bowler commences at Somerset Stages on Saturday 18th April for second year with more teams and new drivers.

■Feeder series to world class off-road endurance races, year two of the Defender Challenge sees returning competitors enter their second year of Dakar preparations.

■Up to 15 Bowler modified Defender 90s compete in six races to include Stage and Hill rally events.
Whitley, UK. 16 April 2015 - This weekend, the 2015 Defender Challenge commences its second year of racing at the BTRDA Championship's Somerset Stages rally in Minehead.

Organised and delivered by Land Rover specialists Bowler Motorsport, the one-make rally series will take on three rounds of the UK Hill Rally Championship and three rounds of the BTRDA Championship between this weekend and the end of November. All competitors will drive Bowler-prepared Land Rover Defender 90 vehicles that have been modified for safety and performance at a variety of challenging courses across the UK.

Designed for novice rally drivers and seasoned experts alike, the Defender Challenge provides competitors with the skills and experience they need to take on international endurance races like the Dakar Rally and the Africa Eco Race. In fact, several teams from last year's Defender Challenge return to continue their training for the 2016 Dakar start-line.

The Defender Challenge is a 'class' within existing national rally events, frequently with fields of up to 130 cars. This season, up to 15 modified Defenders will go head-to-head across a backdrop of unique rally environments and challenging conditions from fast open gravel stage rallies to the brutal terrain of the two-day hill rally. Each race varies in distance and duration giving the teams' driver, navigator and service crew a comprehensive experience of national level motorsport.

During its final year of production, the ultimate "do anything, go anywhere" 4x4 is enjoying celebratory attention. This is prevalent in the 2015 entrants list which reflects participation from across the Land Rover family including owners, retailers, engineers, technicians and apprentices. Also competing in the 2015 series is last year's champion and Land Rover Experience instructor, Edd Cobley who returns for year two to defend his title.

The modifications to the competing Land Rover Defender 90 vehicles include a full MSA / FIA certified roll cage, fire extinguisher system, racing seats and harnesses, light-weight Bowler wheels, a full Bowler racing suspension system with bespoke springs and heavy duty racing dampers and an engine tune to 175hp that delivers 450Nm of torque. Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place at each Defender Challenge by Bowler race as well as 1st, 2nd and 3rd position in the overall championship. Prizes for best prepared car, most improved driver and Spirit of the Championship will also be awarded.

Jon Chester, Brand Director, Bowler Motorsport said, "Bowler is delighted to be running a bigger and better Defender Challenge for 2015 - the year of Defender celebration. We learnt a lot in 2014 and have developed the cars and the format to make sure that drivers, spectators and enthusiasts get even more chances to experience the Bowler Defenders racing. We're really happy to see all of the 2014 teams return again this year and are proud to welcome new teams from different motorsport disciplines from across the UK and Europe."

Catch-up on last year's action with our 2014 highlights video:

Follow this year's series as it unfolds: @LandRoverUKPR

Post #260761 17th Apr 2015 2:04 pm
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chicken george

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Post #260790 17th Apr 2015 4:17 pm
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James @ LPR

Member Since: 01 Oct 2014
Location: Park Royal, London
Posts: 15

United Kingdom 

Update from Round 2 of the Defender Challenge

As you may know, Lookers Land Rover recently delved into the world of Motorsport by putting together a team for the Defender Challenge. Sadly we missed the first race as our decision was late and our Defender had to be prepared by Bowler to MSA safety standards.

That said, we entered our first rally at the Welsh Hill Rally this weekend at Sweet Lamb in mid-Wales. Despite the weather (see the link below to the press release), we had a fantastic event and came in 2nd!

We plan to be at Goodwood Festival of Speed in June with the car, and then back in Wales for the Walters Arena stages in mid-July. Until then, please see the press release below.

James Thumbs Up

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Post #262802 5th May 2015 4:09 pm
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Post #263013 7th May 2015 1:42 pm
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