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The man of 2022 – Interview with 178 Kieran Bowman

Kieran Bowman has solidified himself as a household banger name, and his 2022 campaign has only aided that matter seeing him crowned your Caged! National Banger Entertainer of the Year.

Slim had a trio of motors at the Lynn Pre 80 meeting (Kimberley Jessica Photography)

The 23 year old from Kings Lynn has an impressive CV already at this early point of his career, already ticking the below tracks off the list on his travels.

Belle Vue
Kings Lynn
Ringwood Cheetahs

Slim had this Volvo Hearse on his travels to Yarmouth which aided his cause to securing the BWS Entertainers Championship

It’s safe to say that ‘Slim’ has had an illustrious career so far, which all started back when he was 11 years old. ‘My stepdad (Ant Bailey 478) took me racing and I never looked back. My first meeting was Swaffham in Juniors. It went dreadful! There is incar footage from it; I thought I was faster than fast, but I was the complete opposite.’

The ‘dreadful’ Junior Banger performance is now a distant memory as Slim finds himself in regular major races including the Unlimited World Final (Kimberley Jessica Photography)

Once he turned 16, Slim immediately made the jump up into the National Bangers. ‘My first national meeting was at Stansted on my 16th birthday in mondeos, my now favourite car. I got a couple of seconds and won the DD after doing about 300 laps,’ he laughs.

Slim made his debut at 16 in a Ford Mondeo which his favourite banger. Pictured is Slim at flight in his Mondeo at the 2L Shale World Final (Kimberley Jessica Photography)

Progressing to current day, Slim can certainly now hang with some of the biggest names out on track, but that hasn’t come without having to adapt his race-craft over the years to how he races and thinks now. ‘Doing BWS rounds has helped tremendously racing wise! It really teaches you to read situations and how to react to what the car does within split seconds. I still get it wrong loads but who doesn’t! Having such supporting family and friends really does count towards everything as well!’ Slim has proved he can race and wreck – is it just a case of where the mood goes or is it more calculated than that? Slim replies, ‘I like to see where the race goes. 90% of the time I’ll end up stuck in something, but it’s always good to know I have a chance if I wanted to go for the win. It’s mainly in a championship race, but the urge to crash is always there and takes priority,’ he jokes.

Certainly a car where crashing was the priority for Slim (Kimberley Jessica Photography)

Slim is part of the iconic Predators team, who you, the Caged! Nation voted as your 2022 National Banger Team of the Year. Slim explains where the heritage of the team lies, and what it means to see the team’s rejuvenation. ‘It’s always been a family thing for me. By the time I was in National Bangers, the current team had other commitments, but it feels good to have a team back and see the colours doing well! Psycho (401 Steve Hemmings) loves to see it as well.’

The Predators were collectively on top form at the August Big Van session (Kimberley Jessica Photography)

We’ve mentioned already the fantastic season that Slim has had; seeing him crowned the BWS Entertainers Champion as well as the Trackstar Entertainers League Winner. He talks us through his personal highlights of the year. ‘Yeah it’s been a crazy year that’s had it’s bad moments as always, but standouts there are too many to pick. Going on to the grid for the Spedeworth World as their entertainer champion was one. Another was being able to lead the World of Shale for most of it until shale blocked my carb. I had a good run in the lead at Mendips PRI World before getting taken out, but then having a good tear up for the rest of the meeting was good. Crashing wise there really is too many! There’s been so many good memories and good friends made and good laughs had this year it is hard to pick specific moments.’ Slim mentions on how many occasions he has been at the front in big races, he describes how it feels battling at the front. ‘It feels good to have that pace and be able to keep with the top names in the sport. There’s certainly still plenty of hurdles to overcome and plenty of things I can improve on but it does feel good to be able to pull that speed when I need too.’

Leading the World of Shale for several laps was among the highlights of the year for Slim (Kimberley Jessica Photography)

Slim plans on the 2023 season are pretty simple; ‘I’m not sure yet, just the same as this year I imagine. It’s really just about enjoying it and seeing how it goes!’

Slim just enjoying a moments rest at the Aaron Keoghan Testimonial (Kimberley Jessica Photogrpahy)

It wasn’t just 2022 that was a strong season for Slim, having been among the top names for a few seasons now. Slim recalls some of his favourite racing moments over the years. ‘Obviously winning the Bandit Memorial is possibly the best moment, but I’d say the little things all add up. Making a young fan’s night by giving him/her a trophy or stopping for a quick photo or signing something for them. So many people think it’s stupid but to kid, it could make their night, week or month. You never know what people are going through, so if having a photo or a quick chat with them helps then that’s what makes racing great for me. Having a laugh with the team as we’re fixing a leg I’ve just ripped off or pulling it out after a real heavy race; all that for me makes it worthwhile.’ It’s great to hear Slim mention about taking time out to take to fans, especially the young ones, as it little moments like that for the kids that they remember forever. Personally, Slim took time out of his night to give my son a trophy at the Easter fixture at Kings Lynn, and he hasn’t stopped speaking about it since. It’s certainly moments like that as to why he has become a firm fan favourite.

Slim mentioned about taking time out to speak to all fans, especially the younger generation. He gave away his trophy to my son back at the Easter weekend which made his year, certainly a great way to encourage people to come and support the sport

With learning the personality behind the driver, I asked the one question I ask all drivers, alongside yourself, who would form your dream 6 a side team. ‘I can’t possibly answer that, it would upset too many people! It’s a bloody tough one. I don’t think I could possibly chose. How each driver performs is down to how good their team is in the pits.’ After trying to work his way out of answering it, and ruling out Boris Johnson, this was his final choice. 

89 Joe ‘Panda’ Barrett
158 Shane Davies
178 Kieran Bowman
401 Steve ‘Psycho’ Hemmings
421 ‘Nutty Nige’ Nigel Riley
528 Alan ‘Jethro’ Hunt

‘The reason for these would be with Nige I’ve always wanted to race with him. Whilst in Juniors, the thing I wanted to do when I got into adult bangers was to be smashed up by Nige. Psycho because well I’d just like to show him how it’s done,’ he laughs, ‘but seriously I’d love to race week in, week out with him. Shane Davies and Panda because they can drive like anything and crash like anything at the drop of a hat, which is the best way to be. People never know what’ going to happen or what they are going to do. Jethro would be number 6 because I love his style of driving and the way he chucks his bangers about like it’s nobody’s business.’

Slim favours drivers that can do a perfect mix of racing and wrecking (Kimberley Jessica Photography)

It’s certainly a solid team, with a mix of all round capabilities which is something Slim is also renowned for. Slim concludes the interview with a couple of thank you’s. ‘Anth is the biggest one I’d like to thank personally, for all he puts into it and keeps it all ticking. Matt Black for everything he’s done helping up the yard, getting on the winch in the pits. All the boys for building and being in the pits; I couldn’t do it without them and just everyone that that helps behind the scenes. Thank you to all the people who come to support the team when we race and keeping us going; I really appreciate you all. Thank you to all who voted for us, and also to the marshalls and promoters as without all of you, we’d all have nothing to do.’

Your Entertainer of the Year (Kimberley Jessica Photography)

We thank Slim for taking the time out to speak to us and wish him, and the team, the best of luck for the 2023 season.

We’re sure Slim will continue his fine form once again in 2023 (Kimberley Jessica Photography)

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