Special Projects Motor Sports?
In the eighteen years he has been in the USA, Jeff Owen has become somewhat of an icon in the Southern California Honda Touring Car Racing scene. Known as “Kiwi” among his peers, he has made quite a reputation for himself as a driver, a team owner, and an innovative fabricator. Known as a fierce, but fair competitor on the track, this man will often donate every resource at his disposal to help a fellow competitor get to the starting grid.
He has over thirty years of International Touring Car racing experience, starting out in a Mini Cooper S in the early seventies, through Trans Am racing in a Mustang and then a Chevy Camaro, to becoming a professional New Zealand Toyota Dealer Team driver in the late eighties and then a Honda Dealer Team driver in 1990. He has been living and competing in the USA for eighteen years, and since starting his own team back in 1996 – Special Projects Motor Sports, Kiwi has accumulated a room full of trophies from podium finishes in both NASA and SCCA Road racing events. Never seriously chasing any particular championship, he has often given up his ride to one of his team drivers instead of chasing valuable championship points himself.
He has given a Jump Start to many up and coming drivers, by putting them behind the wheel of one or another of his fleet of Honda race cars, and his mentoring and vast experience in Touring car racing has been an inspiration to many.
Something of a “Smoky Yunick” character who thinks outside the box. Kiwi’s often outrageous interpretation of the regulations has always kept officials and competitors alike on their toes. The ability to interpret the rules to his advantage, and to drive in a style where nothing less than a podium finish is acceptable, is an attitude and a skill learned from two American’s that Kiwi has always regarded as his mentors, Ron Haase, well known multi SCCA ITA Championship winner, and Honda tuning guru, Oscar Jackson.
Always the innovator, Kiwi was the pioneer of the use of the Aero Splitter in Honda Road Racing, developing his P1 Splitter kit for Hondas back in 2000 where he ran the first ever JDM RHD Integra in a US Touring Car Series, to the point now in 2013 where his P1 Spec Aero equipment and “Kiwi Signature Series” Suspension and performance equipment is sought after by Honda Racers all over the world.