Supercars revved up for milestone
SUPERCARS is set to celebrate its 1000th race in front of an international audience this year with the millennium milestone to be reached alongside Formula One at the Australian Grand Prix.
Teaming up with racing legend Larry Perkins on Tuesday to kick start the festivities for the Beaurepaires Melbourne 400, reigning Albert Park champion Scott Pye promised to deliver the world a celebration spectacular.
"Longevity is something in any sport or industry that's really hard to achieve and it's a credit to everyone involved to keep this championship at the level it is," Pye said.
"It is certainly the pinnacle of motorsport for us in Australia and around the world - it is the best touring car championship there is.
"To reach a milestone like this is a full credit to everyone involved. The championship continues to grow and get better and better. The level of competition is scarily constantly improving. It is one of the best championships in the world.''
Pye is out to win the trophy named after the man he spent time with at Albert Park with on Tuesday after winning the last of four races to go close in 2018.
"We came pretty close to the Larry Perkins trophy last year and Whincup ended up getting the win,'' he said.
"When something is introduced for the first time, you want to be the first to win it. To miss out, especially on what was already a great weekend was a bit of a bummer - I would have loved to have taken out that trophy for the first time.
"Luckily it's up for grabs again this year. Larry is an icon of our sport and for me growing up, was someone that I always watched. The way he went about his racing, the work ethic behind what he did was second to none and for any young kid coming up, he has set an example for us.
"For me, even today, to get the opportunity to stand beside him and get a photo taken with him to mark this milestone for the category is a pretty big privilege. He's certainly someone my dad would have loved to have met once, so for me to stand beside him and be luckily enough to get a photo with him is pretty surreal.
"To win his trophy, would be really special."
A Holden legend with 160 ATCC starts, Perkins will be at Albert Park to watch the sport reach the milestone in March.
"Well to get 1000 of anything in the sporting world is a pretty big achievement,'' Perkins said.
"To think there's now been 1000 races since the start of the Australian Touring Car Championship is quite incredible.''