On this day: Perfect Perkins' historic mountain triumph

03 Oct 2021
On October 2, 1993, Larry Perkins and Gregg Hansford won the Great Race
2 mins by James Pavey

Larry Perkins claimed the first of three Bathurst wins as owner/driver on this day 28 years ago.

On October 2, 1993, Perkins - who will be celebrated in a new V8 Sleuth book - combined with the late Gregg Hansford to win the 1993 Tooheys 1000.

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It was Perkins’ fourth win at Mount Panorama, coming at the first 'V8 era' Bathurst 1000.

Holden’s Commodore and Ford’s Falcon went head-to-head, but the day would end awash with Commodores.

Perkins and Hansford had their hands full all day, having to battle with the Gibson Motorsport-run Commodore of Mark Skaife and Jim Richards.

Perkins smashed Skaife to pole in the shootout by 0.56s on the Saturday.

Hansford won in Bathurst on two and four wheels

Skaife and Richards were eyeing a hat-trick of Bathurst wins, having won the 1991 and 1992 aboard Gibson Nissans.

With the GT-Rs out of the equation for 1993, it was fitting a Holden V8-powered Commodore claimed victory.

A field of 45 cars lined up for the 1993 race - but after 161 laps, Commodores filled the first five positions of the 23 cars that finished.

In 1993, Perkins opted to stick with the Holden V8 motor rather than swap to the new Chevrolet-based engine like his rivals.


Perkins at the wheel

Perkins took the flag 10.54s in front of the Skaife/Richards Commodore.

“I was very much in tune with my car,” an elated Perkins said on the podium.

“Absolute faith in the Dunlops, absolute faith in my machinery.

“Couldn’t have gone better, and I’m happy to win from the front.

“Absolutely ecstatic.”

Happy days for Hansford and Perkins

To mark the 25th anniversary of the win in 2018, Nissan Motorsport fielded one of its Altimas in the Castrol livery for that year’s Great Race.

Perkins and Hansford drove to third in the 1994 race, which was won by John Bowe and Dick Johnson.

Just months after the 1994 race, Hansford lost his life in an accident at Phillip Island.

Perkins duly won the 1995 race with Russell Ingall, before the duo combined to win in 1997.

To date, only three drivers - Peter Brock, Richards and Craig Lowndes - have won more times in Bathurst than six-time winner Perkins.

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