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Famous Perkins Bathurst winner set to head overseas

THE recently-restored 1993 Bathurst 1000-winning Castrol Commodore VP is set to become one of the banner head attractions at New Zealand’s Historic GP at Taupō International Motorsport Park on January 19-21.

The car, the last Holden V8-powered Commodore to win the Bathurst 1000, was driven to victory by Larry Perkins and the late Gregg Hansford in the first Bathurst ‘Great Race’ of the five-litre V8 era.

Chassis PE 017 famously gave Perkins’ Castrol-backed team its first of three wins at Bathurst. The car, along with all Commodores built by Perkins Engineering, is featured at length in the hardcover collector’s book, ‘Perkins Engineering, The Cars 1986-2008’, of which there are still a handful of unsigned, unnumbered copies that remain available in the V8 Sleuth Superstore here.

It was recently driven at Bathurst by Perkins as part of the 60th anniversary celebrations of the ‘Great Race’ being held at Mount Panorama.

Larry’s son Jack will step behind the wheel of the car at Taupō for demonstration purposes.

This will mark the first time the car has appeared in New Zealand. It had a long active competition life in Australian touring car and V8 Supercars racing from 1993 through the end of its time in the V8 Development Series (now known as Super2) in 2002.

Perkins Jnr, who finished third in the Bathurst 1000 for Walkinshaw Andretti United alongside James Courtney in 2019, made his 18th Bathurst 1000 start this year.

He recently confirmed he will not be returning to drive for Erebus Motorsport in the 2024 Supercars endurance races after three years co-driving for the team.

Perkins will be joined at the Taupō Historic GP by four-time Bathurst 1000 winner Greg Murphy, who will take the wheel of the Garry Rogers Motorsport-built Monaro he drove to victory in the 2003 Bathurst 24 Hour alongside Peter Brock, Todd Kelly and Jason Bright.

Seven-time Bathurst 1000 winner Craig Lowndes and five-time Bathurst 1000 winner Steve Richards will also be appearing at the event.

V8 Sleuth is the official media partner for the event that will be held on January 19-21 in 2024 at the Taupō International Motorsport Park and broadcast live on Sky Sport in New Zealand and Fox Sports in Australia.

The Taupō Historic GP is the second round of the Super Sprint MotorSport NZ Championship and will host the opening round of the Castrol Toyota Formula Regional Oceania Championship (CTFROC) as part of a unique modern/historic flavoured race meeting.

The event is also a unique celebration of Trans-Tasman Holden history and will feature a ‘Holden All-Comers’ race open to all Holden race cars with a homologated roll cage and logbook.

Also set to appear are Historic Touring Cars NZ, Historic Sports Sedans, Historic Saloons, Sports and GTs, Formula 5000, Formula Open NZ and Formula Junior/F3/Historic Formula Ford.

Tickets can be purchased online here now.

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