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Gongs For The Good Guys

Motorsport success has provided a new reward for four heavy hitters from the sport who received awards in the Queen’s Birthday honours list.

Former Supercars supremo Tony Cochrane, champion drivers Larry Perkins and John Bowe, and Motorsport Australia’s president of honour, Andrew Papadopoulos, were each made a Member of the Order of Australia.

They join a number of previous Australian award recipients including Peter Brock, Craig Lowndes and Mark Skaife, with Alan Jones and Allan Moffat receiving an OBE under the previous honours system.

Two others who have contributed to the improvement of motorsport, Australian Grand Prix event director Trent Smyth and safety expert Dr Michael Henderson, were also honoured in the 2021 honours.

So was Mark Beretta, who is anchoring the Seven Network coverage of Supercars, for his service to charitable organisations.

“It’s a pity it doesn’t come with any money,” joked John Bowe, as he downplayed his award.

“It is nice. I’ve been overwhelmed with good wishes.”

Bowe said the award was a welcome surprise after his battle with prostrate cancer this year, and also paid tribute to fellow awardees.

“It’s a good feeling to be honoured alongside them. I had some of the best race in my career with Larry Perkins.”

“And I have fond memories of Tony Cochrane. I think Supercars was absolutely thriving in his era.”

Cochrane was an entertainment promoter before Supercars and is now a heavy hitter in AFL football who got his award for ““significant service to sports administration, and to entertainment production”, while Papadopoulos’ recognition was for “significant service to motorsport, and to driver safety and education” and Dr Henderson was honoured for “distinguished service to motor vehicle and motorsport safety, and to the prevention of road trauma”.

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