Six-times Bathurst winner Larry Perkins has officially ended his association with V8 Supercars following the completion of the sale of his remaining licenses and the closure of his original factory.
Perkins' sale of his two remaining Racing Contracts (RECs) to Kelly Racing, where they were being run by the Kellys, has been approved by V8 Supercars, prompting him to close of his famed workshop and the former home of Perkins Engineering at Moorabbin, Victoria.
Perkins established Perkins Engineering in 1985 after leaving the Holden Dealer Team, going on to claim three Bathurst 1000 wins in 1993, 1995 and 1997 and a string of runners-up spots in the championship with Russell Ingall.
The Kelly family took over Perkins Engineering following the 2008 season, eventually renaming the team Kelly Racing, now rebranded Nissan Motorsport, with all four of the team's RECs now Kelly-owned.
"After 43 years of racing and 26 years of Perkins Engineering, it is with tremendous satisfaction and pride that I can now announce that I have sold my two V8 Supercars Racing Entitlements Contract's to Kelly Racing," Perkins said.
"I started the business with my wife, Raelene, in 1985. We started with one full-time employee, no racecars, no engines and no money or sponsors. Over time we built a steady, successful race team, with complete emphasis on sound engineering and competitive machinery, which allowed us to build up a very strong customer base.
"From 1985 to 2012, Perkins Engineering built 49 V8 Supercars, 198 race engines, won three Bathursts, three Sandown/Queensland 500s, over 20 race wins, and three pole positions, plus we supplied and maintained the engines for seven-consecutive Formula Holden (Brabham) Gold Star titles.
"Over those years, the business grew respect and recognition in the Australian motor racing industry, and at times employed in excess of 50 people. We were also extremely proud to represent the many sponsors and supporters that chose to be with our team. Our thanks extend to Holden and Castrol for over 20 years of support and of course thanks to our last sponsor, and an industry first, Jack Daniel's.
"I also enjoyed tremendous on-track success with many drivers and co-drivers, including the late Denny Hulme, Peter Brock and Gregg Hansford, and also to current drivers Russell Ingall, Steven Richards and Todd Kelly, to name a few.
"None of this success would have been possible without the huge efforts, loyalty, commitment and dedication of the people that were Perkins Engineering, and not to specifically mention; Barry Abbettmeyer, Shaun Hockey and my PA Kim Menzies would be a disservice to them.
"I fought many battles on the track, in the boardroom and in the Stewards room, however I can proudly say that I feel I contributed my part to the huge success of V8 Supercars.
"Finally, I would like to acknowledge and thank the new generation of racers – Kelly Racing.
"They have a vision and the passion to succeed whilst setting up one of Australia's finest race teams, and they have been great business partners to date. I congratulate them on their successes, and of course I wish them all the very best with their future endeavours, with Nissan, in V8 Supercars.
"The next chapter for me will bring some much-earned family time with Raelene, my daughter Nichola and her two children, and Jack. I'll also enjoy exploring more of Australia in my new 'Unimog's' and perhaps a few trips overseas.
"Motor racing was my life and is still a passion and I'll continue to watch Jack, V8s and Formula 1 with great interest."
For an exclusive interview with Perkins as he reflects on his career on and off the track in addition to his thoughts on the current state of V8 Supercars, see the latest issue of V8X Magazine (#73) in stores or on iPad (Magshop app).
CLICK HERE for more on V8X Magazine #73.