Owen motors ahead

By Justin Robertson
APART from a couple of scratches on his V8 Commodore and a few busted tyres, Berwick’s Steve Owen capped off a stellar year by winning both races over the weekend in Sydney and now has his sights set on the top-tier V8 Supercar championship next year.
Heading into the final round of the racing season, Owen needed to finish only in the top 10 in either of the two races to claim the championship.
As it turned out, he finished the fastest in qualifying with the quickest times in both practices and comfortably won both races including the 17-lap Sunday race.
“It was a bit of an unknown track, I’d never raced there before,” he said. “It was the perfect weekend really.”
Owen’s season was so prolific, he finished 315 points clear of Tim Blanchard who wrapped up second and 362 points ahead of third-placed James Moffat.
Owen was runner-up in the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 when he partnered Jamie Whincup as a support driver, before scoring his first win in the top division at the new format, two-driver Armor All Gold Coast 600.
“The Fujitsu Series was absolutely ideal preparation for my endurance race co-driving role with Team Vodafone with Jamie Whincup,” he told V8 Supercars.com. “It put me back in the frame.”
Owen’s title was the first for Fujitsu Series stalwarts Greg Murphy Racing, which became the 11th different team in as many season to claim the crown.
With four wins from seven rounds, the 36-year-old is now aiming for a start in Abu Dhabi next year in the championship series.
“I’m just in negotiations with a couple of teams at the moment and in talks with Paul Morris,” he said.
“I should know by the end of this week, but for me it’s about choosing the right deal and the right team for next year.”