Perkins breaks pole drought, title contenders deep in Townsville pack

Dunlop Series
06 Jul
Second-generation driver caps comeback with first Dunlop Series pole since 2013
  • Jack Perkins claims first pole since Winton 2013

  • Blanchard Racing Team claim pole on return to series

  • Series leader Kai Allen P13, Zach Bates P8, Aaron Cameron P9

Jack Perkins has claimed pole position for the opening race of the Dunlop Series in Townsville, breaking an 11-year pole drought in Super2.

Perkins, using the next two rounds to gain extra miles before partnering James Courtney in the enduros, set a 1:14.0495s to claim pole for Blanchard Racing Team’s first Super2 start of 2024.

“It’s awesome, to be honest. I've gotta thank Blanchard Racing Team, the car’s been faultless since we rolled it out in testing,” said an ecstatic Perkins.

“I can’t thank my sponsors enough, Shaw and Partners, SCTR, everyone that’s helped get us on the grid, it doesn’t happen easy.”

For Perkins, it’s a drastic change in fortunes from 12 months ago, where he missed both Dunlop Series races due to damage sustained in a collision with Brad Vaughan during Saturday qualifying.

“We had a shitty year last year, so this really makes up for it.

“It’s not easy, this deal, all these kids do it week-in, week-out. I’m a father of two children, I’m just coming for some fun on the weekend.

“To get it on pole means there’s a bit of fight in the dog yet. I’m pretty proud of that. For all the blokes that think they’re too old, don’t give up."


A revamped Boost Mobile Qualifying format saw all 25 Dunlop Series drivers take to the track under sunny Townsville skies for a 20-minute session.

Reigning champion Kai Allen went to the top on the initial flyers with a 1:14.7406s, with Zach Bates slotting into second right on Allen’s tail with a 1:14.7457s.

They were both usurped by Tickford’s Brad Vaughan, who went to the top on 1:14.6877s, the top three covered by just half a tenth of a second after the first runs.

Vaughan had an extra set of green tyres to use having not done a qualifying simulation in Friday practice, which saw him maintain a strong position on the grid.

The second runs were substantially quicker than the first runs, which for most drivers were on used tyres, with Cooper Murray lowering the benchmark to a 1:14.1427s for Eggleston Motorsport.

However, the fastest drivers from the first runs were nowhere to be seen at the front of the field, Allen only managing a 1:14.6629s to line-up 13th, the same position he started for the Sunday race in Perth.

A late flyer from Bates saw him move to eighth on a 1:14.4521s, whilst Aaron Cameron was outside the top 20 before moving to ninth with his final lap on a 1:14.5349s.

Behind Perkins and Murray on the front row will be Vaughan and Cameron McLeod, who overcame a sizeable brake fire in pit lane to go fourth in the dying minutes, both drivers a tenth and a half off the pace.

Campbell Logan had the best qualifying of his young Super2 career to go fifth, with Jarrod Hughes joining him on the third row of the grid.

The top ten was rounded out by Rylan Gray, Bates, Cameron, and Jordyn Sinni, with Cody Burcher claiming Super3 pole in 11th on a 1:14.6183s.

Race 1 for the Dunlop Series in Townsville begins at 1:15pm this afternoon.

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