Hamilton: Dodo Racing Team preview

FORWARD THINKING COULD PAY OFF FOR PERKINS IN HAMILTON When Jack Perkins found himself on the sidelines for the 2008 V8 Supercar Championship Series, the second-generation racer pulled out all stops to prepare for a possible return to V8...

FORWARD THINKING COULD PAY OFF FOR PERKINS IN HAMILTON

When Jack Perkins found himself on the sidelines for the 2008 V8 Supercar Championship Series, the second-generation racer pulled out all stops to prepare for a possible return to V8 Supercar competition.

With the new Hamilton street circuit entering the championship last season, Perkins secured a one-off drive in the New Zealand V8 Championship for the inaugural Hamilton event aboard the #5 Holden Commodore.

It meant that if he was able to get back into 'the main game' in 2009, he would not be on the back foot at the New Zealand leg of the series, with vital track knowledge up his sleeve for the demanding 3.4-kilometre, concrete lined layout.

As it turns out, his hard work paid off and this weekend, Perkins will be looking to put lessons learned in 2008 to good use in the Hamilton 400 in New Zealand, driving the #11 Dodo Holden Commodore in Round 2 of the 2009 V8 Supercar Championship Series.

Q & A with Jack Perkins - #11 Dodo Holden Commodore

QUESTION: THIS WILL BE YOUR FIRST V8 SUPERCAR EVENT AT HAMILTON BUT YOU HAVE HAD EXPERIENCE AT THIS TRACK IN NZV8s LAST YEAR. WILL THAT BE A BIG HELP THIS WEEKEND?

JACK PERKINS: "I wanted to race something at Hamilton last year hoping that I'd be back in the main game this year, which as it turns out I am.

"At least I know which way the track goes and where a few of the bumps and things are.

"I'm definitely looking forward do driving the Dodo Commodore around there this year."

Q: IS HAMILTON A CIRCUIT YOU ENJOY?

"Yeah, I love all street circuits.

"Adelaide, Surfers and, of course, Hamilton. There all definitely circuits that I like.

"It really brings the skill and commitment of the drivers out, as opposed to the best handling cars, biggest teams and things like that.

"While that is still a factor, you've got to be able to drive 100 percent and get the most out of your car without hitting the walls at these street circuits.

"That's what I enjoy -- driving right on the limit -- so I really can't wait until Hamilton."

Q: YOU'VE HAD GOOD PACE SO FAR THIS YEAR BUT DUE TO SOME BAD LUCK THERE WERE NO POINTS FOR THE DODO RACING TEAM IN ADELAIDE. DOES THAT CHANGE YOUR APPROACH AT ALL FOR NEW ZEALAND?

"Yeah, getting two solid finishes, ideally in the top 15, is a big priority for New Zealand.

"Based on the disappointing start to the year in Adelaide we just need to get some points on the board and start building our 2009 championship.

"We've turned the page on Adelaide now -- we've had our 'negative' event in terms of points so now everyone else has to have there negative weekend.

"We just have to keep working up the points ladder throughout the year and this weekend is the start of that."

Q: WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE NEW QUALIFYING SYSTEM THAT WILL DEBUT IN HAMILTON?

"I think it's a good thing.

"The qualifying system in Adelaide was pretty disappointing for the people that didn't qualify so well but raced hard.

"I think this is a little bit of common sense prevailing.

"If they want to have two separate races, it is good to have another crack on Sunday morning at improving your grid spot.

"It looks like a good idea that they have put forward. We will see what happens in Hamilton.

"It is great for the spectators to see a lot more track time on the Sunday. You will really see a full day of racing so hopefully it brings even more people out to the track."

-credit: bammedia.com.au

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Series Supercars
Drivers Jack Perkins