Land Rover is the official sponsor of the 2014 Defender Challenge by Bowler, a continuation of the strategic partnership disclosed in 2012 between the carmaker and Bowler Motorsport. The Defender Challenge is a one-make, seven-round rally series in the United Kingdom designed to serve as a feeder series to the annual Dakar rally and other global rally-raid competitions.
The series will be regulated by the MSA (Motor Sports Association) and each Defender Challenge car will be FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) compliant that allows participant s to compete internationally. The Defender Challenge targets to both experienced and inexperienced drivers a venue to gain the experience needed to compete in world-class rally-raid events.
For those with no or little experience, the Defender Challenge will offer an extensive solution for gaining a license, training and development and competition experience. The Defender Challenge car is a modified Defender 90 Hard Top powered by factory-standard 2.2-liter diesel engine uprated to 170 bhp by Bowler Motorsport.
All Defender Challenge cars will feature the standard 6-speed manual gearbox, controlled Kuhmo tyres and full MSA-approved roll cage and fire extinguisher system. All Defender Challenge cars are also road-legal and can be driven to events if required. [source: Land Rover]