Perkins lands BJR Bathurst lifeline

Andrew van Leeuwen
·2 min read

The former Supercars full-timer and Bathurst podium finish was signed to partner Will Davison in a Tickford Mustang at this year's Great Race, only to lose that drive when Davison was ousted from the team thanks to a pandemic-induced backing shortfall.

Perkins' 14-year streak of Bathurst starts won't be broken, however, thanks to a lifeline from Brad Jones Racing to partner rookie Jack Smith.

“It’s been a crazy year," said Perkins. "Having had a deal locked in with another team and then having all that fall over was pretty tough to deal with, however it’s great to be at Bathurst with a top team like Brad Jones Racing and also cool to be in a Holden Commodore in [Holden's] last year officially supporting the sport.

“I’m looking forward to driving and working with Jack Smith in the SCT Logistics Commodore. It’s a bit of a different mindset for me to be working with a rookie on the Mountain, but hopefully I can lend him some of my experience and help Jack and the team achieve a good, solid, result.”

What's not yet clear is what the quarantine conditions for Perkins to enter New South Wales will be.

He and his family have been based on the Perkins family farm in rural Victoria, near the South Australian and NSW borders, for more than two months. With restrictions now easing outside of Melbourne, it could be that he's given a reprieve from the 14-day hotel quarantine facing the other Melbourne-based co-drivers.

If not, Perkins will be forced to join the all-in quarantine hub Supercars is hoping to establish in the lead-up to the October 18 race.

Smith, meanwhile, is looking forward to learning from Perkins, a three-time Top 10 finisher at the Bathurst 1000, including his third with James Courtney last year.

“Having Jack on board is a huge win and I’m looking forward to driving with him,” said Smith.

“He comes with a vast amount of experience and understanding so I think that will be a big advantage for me being a rookie. Hopefully I can learn a lot from him.

"We’re both quite calm guys so I think we will work together well and hopefully come away with some good results. Anything can happen at the Mountain so we just need to stay focused on our own race and I have to do my part as best as I can.

"I’m excited to have the finale there [too]. What a weekend that will be.”

BJR now has three of its four Bathurst drivers locked in, the seat alongside Macauley Jones the only one yet to be confirmed.