Winterbottom keen to add Perkins Trophy to collection

18 Mar
Mark Winterbottom has won seven races at Albert Park, but is chasing his first points victory at the circuit
  • Mark Winterbottom has won seven races at Albert Park

  • Winterbottom's seven wins came in non-championship era

  • Team 18 star aiming to become fifth different winner of Perkins Trophy

Mark Winterbottom may have won seven races at Albert Park, but is hunting his first points victory at the circuit, and with it, a maiden Larry Perkins Trophy win.

Only four drivers — Jamie Whincup, Chaz Mostert, Shane van Gisbergen, and Brodie Kostecki — have won the Perkins Trophy, which was introduced in 2018.

The trophy, named after the six-time Bathurst winner, celebrates Perkins’ Formula 1 past, with the top-scorer for the weekend taking home the prize.

The trophy was inaugurated in 2018, the first year of championship-points paying races at the Australian Grand Prix.

It’s one of few trophies Winterbottom hasn’t won, despite the 623-race veteran winning seven races at Albert Park in the non-championship era, including all four at the 2015 event.


Team 18 star Winterbottom may already be up in lights as one of the sport’s greats, and has a Peter Brock Trophy to his name as a Bathurst winner, along with a Jason Richards Trophy for New Zealand success.

However, the 39-time race winner is keen to add a first Perkins Trophy to the list.

“If you can win a race, it's great. If you can win the round, which obviously gets you the Larry Perkins trophy, it's even better,” Winterbottom said.

“You know, it's those guys that built our sport. The Perkins, the Moffats, the Johnsons, the Brocks, all those guys.

“So, when you can win something that has their name attached to it, it is a little bit more special.


“We'll try to win one race first, which is going to be tough. And if we can win that, then it puts us in good shape to get that big trophy.”

Should Winterbottom fix his qualifying issues from the Bathurst season-opener, the #18 DEWALT Camaro could be in the frame for the trophy, given the veteran’s impressive race pace.

No driver passed more cars at Mount Panorama than Winterbottom, whose teammate David Reynolds finished fifth for the round, proving Team 18 has plenty of promise.

"What we've got to focus on is changes that are in 30 minutes, probably four outings of two laps,” Melbourne-based Winterbottom said.

"Quick changes that are done with shifters and spanners and stuff like that, as opposed to the big geometry changes. Very hard.

"We need to make sure our roll-out car is good and we're just tuning, that's the plan.

“My race pace was really good at Bathurst, but my qualifying pace was poor. So, I need good qualifying pace here, because qualifying is key.”

The 24-car Supercars field will roll out in Melbourne for the first time on Thursday.

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