Jack Perkins feels his maiden V8 Supercars race win is just reward for a career built on hard work and persistence.
The 29-year-old teamed up with James Courtney to deliver the milestone triumph on his 129th V8 Supercars start in Sunday’s 102 lap Castrol Gold Coast 600 contest.
The son of six-time Bathurst 1000 winner Larry Perkins, has endured a career of highs and lows.
A mainstay of the enduros since 2006, Perkins’ initial full-time V8 Supercars foray with his father’s team a year later was cut short after he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
Further main game stints in fourth-string entries at Kelly Racing in 2009 and Charlie Schwerkolt Racing last year both proved tough going, but have helped add to the youngster’s wealth of experience.
Despite earning his place as a premier pick among the co-drivers, Perkins admits he held doubts over whether a V8 Supercars victory would ever fall his way.
Prior to the Gold Coast his best result was a fifth place alongside Tim Slade at Phillip Island in 2010.
“I’m thrilled,” said Perkins.
“I feel like I’ve worked pretty hard for this over my journey since I started go karts.
“I would have written about 4,000 sponsorship proposals and chipped away at it.
“So to win race with HRT, it doesn’t get any better than that.
“There were many times there when I thought it (a race win) would never happen.
“I matched my previous best result of fifth on Saturday so after that I thought fifth was as good as I was ever going to get so I’m pretty happy to get a surfboard.”
After losing his main game seat at the end of last season, Perkins feels his decision to focus on landing a top co-driver role has been vindicated.
The HRT driver claims that it would take a really special opportunity to return to the main game on a full-time basis, electing to focus on co-driver roles.
“I’ve worked for four years since the last full-time gig I got last year and I put a deal together with Charlie Schwerkolt and it didn’t go to plan,” he said.
“But for various reasons I still thought I could do this driving caper but I figured I didn’t want to be a field filler and chase a main game drive to finish 15th every week.
“I think if you look at the field there are six to eight cars that have a chance of genuinely winning, so I figured I would be better off doing three races with one of those guys than 15 or 16 races making up the numbers.
“I’m pretty committed to be being an enduro driver from here forward.
“There are not many gigs full-time that would be of significant interest to me that would present a better opportunity than sitting with a race win now.”
Although much of the attention on Sunday rightly went to Courtney, social media was flooded with messages of congratulations for Perkins from fans and industry colleagues.
Hard work off track with sponsors and in the media has further strengthened Perkins’ high standing in an industry he has been a part of his entire life.