Melbourne driver Jack Perkins will commandeer the Ford owned by Charlie Schwerkolt in his return as a full-time driver in the main V8 Supercars Series after a long absence.
As previously reported, Perkins has been secured to drive the #18 Ford run as a customer car under the Ford Performance Racing umbrella.
“The drive is a Christmas present come early and I am really looking forward to repaying the faith Charlie, JELD-WEN and all the team’s other commercial partners have put in me,” Perkins said.
“It is cool to be part of Ford’s four car factory squad. I have three very handy drivers to work with and I can’t wait to start working with everyone at FPR as Charlie has put together a really good program with the team.
“He has won a title as an owner so combined with FPR’s resources and obvious car speed it has all the right ingredients.”
Perkins was forced to step down from the #11 Perkins Engineering Commodore before the end of the 2007 when he was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes.
His second tilt at full-time driving in the championship came with the team’s successor, Kelly Racing, in 2009.
Perkins has been a semi-regular in the Development Series in the ensuing years including a second in the second-tier championship in a Sonic team Falcon in 2011 and a fourth in an Eggleston team Commodore this year.
“Jack has been knocking on the door to get back into the series for a long time and his results this year have been especially impressive in the context of all the high-quality drivers he was competing against,” Schwerkolt said.
“I’ve known him since he was just a kid and he is a great person and will fit right in with everyone at JELD-WEN and FPR.
“Jack is very hungry and he knows he needs to perform so I think what our team offers with the resources of FPR will be the right environment for him to flourish.”
Perkins will kick-start the next phase in his career behind the wheel of the #18 Ford at the official V8 Supercars test at Sydney Motorsport Park in February ahead of the opening round, the Clipsal 500 from February 27-March 2.
The confirmation means that the V8 future of Perkins’ predecessor, Alex Davison, remains unclear.