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

Jaguar Land Rover Limited: Registered office: Abbey Road, Whitley, Coventry CV3 4LF. Registered in England No: 1672070

The figures provided are as a result of official manufacturer's tests in accordance with EU legislation. A vehicle's actual fuel consumption may differ from that achieved in such tests and these figures are for comparative purposes only.