Father and son team, Ted and Joel Perkins, had a rotten run in COT2014, retiring after day 1. But, they’re fired up and prep is well under way for COT16…
What car will you be running in the 2016 COT? What is special; what is its history?
It’s a 1966 Lotus Cortina. The car was originally built by the Tayell Automotive guys for Peter Riseborough back in 1993 at the start of historic rallying in Australia, Peter ran it for a couple of years, it wasn’t fast enough for him so it languished in the back of his shed for a while.
I bought it in 2005, when Joel was 12 and I wanted a car for him to autocross and motorkhana in, as at the time my rally car was the Chevrolet powered ex Bob Watson 1968 Holden Dealer team HK Kingswood, a bit of a handful for a kid to learn to drive in. Since then it has had many rebirths and rebuilds, the lastone just prior to the 2014 COT, repairing damage that I inflicted on it during the Alpine in 2011. The only part that is the same from 1993 is the body shell from the a pillars back.
The car has just finished the Alpine Rally where we took out a 2nd in the H68 class, to an ex LonSyd GT Falcon. Only issue was a small wiring meltdown where the Lucas smoke extracted itself from the loom, thus an under dashboard rewire is planned before June.
Who will be in your team?
My 23 year old son Joel will be co-driving for me again, with John Dunstan, Angelo Curic and Shane Robinson looking after us with the spanners and refreshments. Over the years these guys have been involved with our motorsports on and off, and we also support Joel as a driver in his Hyundai Excel that he runs in the VRC. John used to service for Hugh Bell back in the late 1970’s early 80’s, thus has quite a few stories of the non-politically correct rallying days. John and Shane also help me with my Group Nb Lotus race car that I run in historic circuit racing. Angelo’s experience in all things small Ford will be a valuable contribution in keeping the 50year old car going.
What do you like about the event – what has brought you back?
I competed in the RCTGC with Gerry Bashford in 2008, and Joel and I were one of the Road Crews on the COT in 2010. We competed (very unsuccessfully) in the COT in 2014, only doing the prologue and the first day before the brand new water pump in the Lotus twincam decide to drop all it coolant. A replacement is just a simple job of pulling the head off the car, thus we retired as we had no spare. After coming back from the COT I was diagnosed with cancer in my bone marrow. During a year of treatments and stem cell transplants one must have a definitive goal to aim for, (apart from getting well of course), and the 2016 COT was on the recovery list as milestone to be achieved. And, I really enjoy the long distance style of events with the past few BP’s run by Ross Runnalls being great challenges.
What are your expecting from the 2016 COT; what are you looking forward to?
Were expecting great roads, great times, great people and scenery as far as the eye can see. What I’m really looking forward to is the 3 weeks away from Melbourne, the road trip up and back is just a fantastic drive thru iconic Australian countryside.
Have you been to Alice Springs before? What are you expecting or looking forward to seeing?
I’ve been to the Alice a few times, but Joel has not. So Central Australia will be all new to him.
Are you planning a bit of a Red Centre holiday as part of your rally?
We’re looking into the possibility of my wife (Di) and daughter (Amelia) flying up towards the end of the rally week, and driving back with us via Uluru, all depending on uni and work at this stage.
Who are your sponsors or supporters?
Apart from being supported by my own consulting engineering business, Synertec, I receive great help and assistance from Colin Van Summeran at CAM Automotive in Seaford, a Lotus/BDA/English Ford specialist that I have been involved with since the turn of the century (sounds like a long time ago eh!).
What is/was your favourite rally car?
My favourite rally car would have to be my old HDT Kingswood that I restored and ran for quite a few years, Big bellowing whale of a car with too much horsepower, 2 speed automatic transmission and no brakes. Heaps of fun to drive, and also a bit of Australian rallying history.
What is your most memorable rallying moment?
Probably driving over the finish ramp with Gerry Bashford at the end of the RCGCT in 2008. We had all sorts of problems with our Escort, lost an engine, fuel pump failures and hitting kangaroos but we soldiered on and finished. Such a huge adventure and a real test of endurance.
What will you be doing to get ready for the 2016 COT?
Working on the service barge and trailer at the moment, and trying to lose a couple of kg, power to weight is all important in a small 4 cylinder car!
Where are you, and what are you doing as you answer these questions?
Sitting in the office at Richmond, too late at night, working on another project. I am looking forward to June
Thanks Ted. Great to have you Joel and the boys with us in Alice Springs. Chookas for a good run!