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V8 Wire (Jason Whittaker)

John Bowe has parted ways with Briggs Motorsport, effective immediately.

The split was amicable, according to a team statement released this morning, though reasons for Bowe's sudden and unexpected departure were not given.

Bowe drove his last race for the team at Bathurst last week, with Team Principal John Briggs electing to "audition" drivers for next season at the remaining two Shell Series events.

Bowe left Dick Johnson Racing to join the fledging CAT Racing outfit before the 1999 season.

The news comes despite career-best form from the 44-year-old Supercar stalwart over the past few races, particularly at Bathurst.

"John has played a key role in the formation of this team, but we have decided to go our separate ways," Briggs said.

"I would like to thank him for his efforts with the team and wish him the best of luck for his future endeavours."

Bowe, the 1995 Touring Car champion, said in the statement that he enjoyed his time with the Brisbane-based team, and hopes to continue racing in the category next season.

"Although we have decided to part company, I have really enjoyed my time with CAT Racing and have gained lot of friends from the entire experience," Bowe said.

"The entire Caterpillar family has been wonderful supporters for myself and this team and I truly value their friendship and support.

"I certainly intend to continue to compete in V8 Supercars and after the Bathurst weekend, I remain confident I can still be very competitive."

Caterpillar's Michael Leyden said the decision was "unfortunate."

"He has done a great job working with Caterpillar and is highly regarded by our customers and those he has come in contact with over the formative years of CAT Racing," he said.

Briggs is in the process of expanding his operation, with his fleet of Falcons to grow to four before next season. Simon Wills will pilot one of the cars.

The CAT Falcon will be sidelined from the Gold Coast Indy support event with damage sustained at Bathurst, but the car will be entered in the V8 International in New Zealand and the season-ending V8 Ultimate at Sandown.

Drivers for those events have not yet been named.

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