IT has been a character-building season for Nick Percat; one which for a time looked set to be rectified by a big Bathurst performance.
Percat was in podium contention at Mount Panorama before a gearshift mishap saw him crash on the run to Forrest’s Elbow just before the midway point of the Great Race.
Ultimately, he and co-driver Warren Luff had to settle for 22nd place, 13 laps down.
After a particularly tough mid-season stretch across Perth, Winton, Darwin and Townsville, there have been genuine signs of progress for Percat and the Car #2 crew.
The 2011 Bathurst 1000 winner is determined to salvage something still, with just two races remaining at each of Gold Coast and Adelaide as Supercars returns to out-and-out street circuits for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s awesome to be back on the Gold Coast to race, been far too long,” said Percat.
“Bathurst was pretty gut-wrenching for the team to have something like that happen, so really keen to bounce back this weekend.
“It takes full commitment around here, rewards risk, so it’s always a heap of fun to drive.
“Weather looks awesome as well so can’t wait for a massive weekend.”
Walkinshaw Andretti United teammate Chaz Mostert is a two-time race winner at the Gold Coast, although his most recent visit in 2019 ended with a brutal crash in Saturday qualifying.
“It’s so good to be back at home racing, we’ve definitely missed this place,” he said.
“It’s always such a good event up here, we’ve really missed it on the calendar.
“Will definitely be a little different this weekend without a co-driver, but I’m looking forward to two longer races over the weekend, with fuel strategy thrown in to mix things up from a solo perspective.
“Looks like it’s going to be a hot one, but can’t wait to get back out there.”
The first of two 250km races will start at 4:45pm (AEDT) on Saturday. The Sunday leg will get underway at 3:15pm (AEDT).