PEOPLE: TONY DOWE
Name: Tony Dowe
Nationality: Great Britain
From Weston-super-Mare in Somerset, in the west of England, Dowe started racing because his neighbor Chris Lambert was a motor sport fan. The pair raced go-karts together and as Lambert began to climb the motor racing ladder, Dowe began to work as his mechanic.
At 17 Dowe was preparing Lambert's Brabham BT15 in Formula 3 races. When Lambert teamed up with future FIA President Max Mosley to form the London Racing Team in 1968, Dowe moved to F2. At Zandvoort in August that year Lambert was killed and the London Racing Team was disbanded. Dowe went back to school to study at the Chelsea College of Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering but was back in racing in the early 1970s working in F2 with American Brett Lunger. In 1977 he joined Mo Nunn's Ensign F1 team and worked as a mechanic with Clay Regazzoni - who ironically had been implicated in the crash which had killed Lambert in 1968 - and with Patrick Tambay.
Dowe then spent a year at Brabham with John Watson and Niki Lauda before moving to Wolf to work with James Hunt. In 1980, however, he headed to the United States to be chief mechanic of the Haas CanAm team with Tambay. The Frenchman won six of the 10 races and the championship in his Lola T530 and after working briefly with Keke Rosberg in 1981, Dowe became chief mechanic with the Chaparral Indycar team.
At the end of 1982 he was appointed team manager of the new Newman-Haas Racing team and in 1984 Mario Andretti took the team to the Indycar title. Dowe would stay with Haas - working in the importation business - until the summer of 1987 when he moved to Valparaiso, Indiana, to set up TWR Inc. The team won a total of 16 IMSA GTP races with the Castrol Jaguars including three Daytona 24 Hours victories (in 1988, 1990 and 1992) with such drivers as Martin Brundle, John Nielsen, Raul Boesel and Davy. In 1990 Dowe ran one of TWR team's four Jaguar XJR-12s in the Le Mans 24 Hours and won the race with Martin Brundle, John Nielsen and Price Cobb driving.
When Tom Walkinshaw began to wind down TWR operations in the United States, Dowe was sent to France in June 1994 to be director of operations at Ligier - which had been acquired by Walkinshaw and Flavio Briatore. This lasted just a month because of a power struggle between the two owners but in March 1995 Dowe was back in charge again at Magny-Cours. This lasted for just 12 months before Walkinshaw gave up on the project and bought Arrows instead. Dowe became operations manager but in 1997 was transferred to the role of marketing manager. In September 1997, unhappy in his new role, he quit the team and joined Panoz Motor Sports in Atlanta, Georgia.
In February 1999 he left Panoz and became vice-president (operations) and technical director of Professional Sports Car Racing Inc., an organization which was trying to promote sportscar racing in the United States.