Supercars stars to race for The Larry Perkins Perpetual Trophy as well as points in Melbourne next March …
STORY: AARON NOONAN
IMAGE: AN1 IMAGES ARCHIVE (GRAEME NEANDER/COVENTRY)
SUPERCARS Hall of Famer and ex-Formula 1 driver Larry Perkins will have the winner’s trophy for next year’s Coates Hire Supercars Melbourne 400 at Albert Park in Melbournenamed in his honour.
The news was confirmed this morning at the launch of the support categories for next year’s Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix event that also confirmed the Supercarevent’s title and race format that will be held across March 22-25, 2018.
Perkins, 67, started 11 Formula 1 Grands Prix between 1974 and 1977 with Amon, Boro, Brabham, BRM and Surtees, with a best finish of eighth in the 1976 Belgian Grand Prix at Zolder.
He also had Supercars success at Albert Park with his Perkins Engineering Commodore team, winning seven races in a row with driver Russell Ingall across 1997 and 1998 and another two with Steve Richards in 2006.
Six-time Bathurst 1000 winner and Supercars Hall of Fame member Perkins competed in Supercars at Albert Park from 1996 to 2002.
The confirmation of the trophy named in Perkins’ honour adds another important trophy to the Supercars Championship calendar.
It now joins the Peter Brock Trophy (Bathurst) and Jason Richards Memorial Trophy (Pukekohe) as coveted awards named in honour of former drivers within the championship season.
Next year’s event will be the first time Supercars have competed for Virgin Australia Supercars Championship points at the Albert Park event.
A total of four races will be held across the four days with the following format:
Practice 1: 30 minutes
Practice 2: 30 minutes
Qualifying session 1: 10 minutes (results for grid of Race 1)
Qualifying session 2: 10 minutes (results for grid of Race 2)
Qualifying session 3: 10 minutes (results for grid of Race 3)
Qualifying session 4: 10 minutes (results for grid of Race 4)
Race 1: 60 minutes (25 laps – 132 km) – compulsory pit stop/tyre change and fuel top up
Race 2: 30 minutes (13 laps – 69 km)
Race 3: 60 minutes (25 laps – 132 km) – compulsory pit stop/tyre change and fuel top up
Race 4: 30 minutes (13 laps – 69 km) – last race before Grand Prix
They will constitute Races 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the 2018 championship season with the opening two races of the season to be held at the Adelaide 500 on March 1-4.
Supercars, the Porsche Wilson Security Carrera Cup Australia and Australian GT Championship will be joined at Albert Park by the Asia Pacific-based Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli category.
DJR Team Penske dominated this year’s Albert Park Supercars event, claiming three of the four race wins (two to Fabian Coulthard and one to Scott McLaughlin) while Prodrive’s Chaz Mostert won the fourth race on the Sunday.