Albert Park: Holden Motorsport preview

Perkins Jr to make V8 Supercar debut at Australian Grand Prix Murphy sidelined by Clipsal carnage; HRT and Supercheap Auto wheel out spares for AGP; Autobarn's Owen recovered and odds-on to return Jack Perkins, the son of six-time ...

Perkins Jr to make V8 Supercar debut at Australian Grand Prix

Murphy sidelined by Clipsal carnage; HRT and Supercheap Auto wheel out spares for AGP; Autobarn's Owen recovered and odds-on to return

Jack Perkins, the son of six-time Bathurst champion and Jack Daniel's Racing team owner Larry Perkins, will make his main series V8 Supercar debut in the Panasonic V8 Supercar races at this weekend's Foster's Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix.

Perkins Jr will fill the franchise slot usually used by Supercheap Auto Racing's Greg Murphy, whose Commodore was too badly damaged in Adelaide to be repaired in time for this weekend.

Perkins, 19, made his V8 Supercar debut last weekend in the V8 Development Series in Adelaide, and will drive his regular Perkins Motorsport Commodore VZ, which will be serviced by the Supercheap team and carry the #51 plate usually used by Murphy.

Murphy's team-mate Cameron McConville will drive the team's spare car in Melbourne, while the team will focus on rebuilding Murphy's chassis for the next series round in New Zealand, leaving McConville to drive the spare until his car can be repaired.

The last 24 hours have been hectic for Perkins, who was going to be a spectator this weekend and was today at the team's workshop helping prepare the car.

"I was having visions of a relaxing weekend but got the call up today," said Perkins, who finished 10th from the back of the grid in the second race in Adelaide.

"I'm under no illusions that I'll be running anywhere but near the back of the field. The goal is to circulate and get some more experience.

"Adelaide last weekend was only the second-ever time I had driven a V8 Supercar and our times in the Development Series would have qualified us in the Clipsal 500 field, so I think we'll be OK as far as making the field is concerned.

"After all, Sam Newman could do it a few years ago and make it into the field, so I reckon I'm half a shot! Hopefully the die-hard Murph fans don't throw beer cans at me for using his number either, which I've got on loan for this weekend only!"

While Perkins has a quick 'spit and polish' to get his car ready for Melbourne, the Holden Racing Team will wheel out a spare chassis for Mark Skaife to drive after his brand-new car was involved in two hits with the concrete in Adelaide.

It's the Commodore that Skaife and Todd Kelly used to win the 2003 Sandown 500.

HRT will repair Skaife's 2006 car in time to air-lift it to New Zealand for the second V8 Supercar round at Pukekohe on April 21-23.

Meanwhile, in fantastic news for Autobarn Racing, driver Steve Owen was released from hospital in Adelaide on Monday afternoon and should be declared fit to drive the team's #55 Commodore this weekend.

Owen, who fell victim to the oppressive heat in the opening race on Saturday in Adelaide and passed out at the wheel, was busy today visiting a hyperbaric chamber and undergoing kidney dialysis tests to ensure he's OK to race.

"I don't remember much about it, the last thing I can recall was the James Courtney crash and the Safety Car coming out after that," Owen said.

"I woke up in the emergency room at the hospital. My cool suit (a special ice vest beneath the three-layer fireproof driving suit), had failed and the drink bottle was red hot as well. I'm a slimmer sort of guy so the heat affects me a little bit and the combination of all of that caused it.

"They told me that my body temperate was 42.5 degrees, which is getting dangerously close to meltdown. It's really scary when you put it in those terms.

"I should be alright. The way I'm feeling today, I reckon I could jump back into the car. I'll visit a physio tomorrow to make sure I tick all the boxes and do all I can to check I'm ready to go.

"If there are any problems in first practice on Thursday I'll yell out to the team."

Practice at Albert Park begins at 12.30pm on Thursday with qualifying at 3.55pm. Race 1 will be on Friday at 3.30pm, Race 2 on Saturday at 3.30pm and Race 3 on Sunday at 11.50am.

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Greg Murphy , Cameron McConville , Todd Kelly , Steve Owen , Larry Perkins , Jack Perkins
Teams Holden Racing Team