Greg Murphy signs Jack Perkins for SuperTourers
Greg Murphy has signed Jack Perkins as his co-driver for the three V8 SuperTourers endurance races later this year.
Perkins will drive the #51 M3 Motorsport Commodore at Taupo, Pukekohe and Ruapuna, although Murphy’s participation alongside Perkins at Taupo remains up in the air due to his recovery from his back surgery.
Murphy is expected to be back to full health in time for the final two rounds at Pukekohe and Ruapuna.
Perkins replaces Fabian Coulthard, who was originally slated to compete with Murphy before he pulled out of the ride.
“With the unfortunate situation of Fabian unable to participate, we had to find a a driver, and in my mind, we’ve found a great replacement,” Murphy told Speedcafe.com.
“It’s worked out well to have Jack. He has lots of miles in these types of cars and will fit into the whole deal really easily. I couldn’t be happier for him to replace Fabian.
“I’m looking forward to getting him over there and getting the Mike Pero car up the front.”
Murphy, currently third in the V8 SuperTourers standings, confirmed that his place on the Taupo grid is still in question, although he remains confident of being back in Pepsi Max Crew Commodore VE in the V8 Supercars Championship at the Sandown 500.
Murphy says that he is looking for a replacement for himself, in case of the worst case scenario.
“I am actively looking and pursuing other options, in case of the worst case scenario of me not being fit for it,” the four-times Bathurst 1000 winner said.
“The recovery is going well, I have little restriction and I’m able to get up and around, so I’ll be there to help the team and try to assist them in any way I can.
“It will be massively disappointing if I can’t race, but I still have to go by what the doctor says.”
Murphy expects to receive a firm answer from his specialists within the coming weeks regarding his participation in the September 1-2 event.
While Murphy’s slot may be up in the air, Perkins is locked in. Having tested the V8 SuperTourers prototype at Manfeild, he is looking forward to driving the famous #51 in New Zealand.
“It’s a great opportunity for me,” Perkins told Speedcafe.com.
“To have Murph ring you and ask you to drive the #51 in New Zealand, it’s up there with driving the #05 with Peter Brock.
“I’ve had a lot of interest in the V8 SuperTourers series. I always wanted to get into a competitive car and team, so to be driving with Murphy and his team is great.
“I had a drive of the prototype at Manfeild, so I have a small advantage in that regard, but I haven’t driven at Taupo. I’m not stressed, though, because once you’ve driven at the V8 Supercars level, you are forced to get used to the circuits quickly so it should only take three or four laps to get my head around it.”
Perkins is hopeful that Murphy will be fit to pair up with him at Taupo.
“It’s a terrible situation for him to be in,” Perkins said.
“I’m grateful that Murph asked me to drive with him, especially in NZ, but I’m sure his medical team will be the ones who make the right decision.
“Hopefully I’m driving with Murph, but if not, I’m sure they’ll find a suitable replacement.”
Perkins will combine the NZ SuperTourer commitments with his V8 Supercars endurance role with Garry Rogers’ Fujitsu Racing team, where he will drive either the #33 or #34 car alongside either Alexandre Premat or Michael Caruso at the Dick Smith Sandown 500 and Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.