Percat hungry to rebound from ‘gut-wrenching’ Bathurst

Nick Percat. Pic: Walkinshaw Andretti United

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.

TRIBUTE: WAU set to run special Holden livery in Adelaide

MORE: The Gold Coast record Winterbottom owns – by a mile

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.

The #2 Mobil 1 NTI Racing ZB Commodore. Pic: Walkinshaw Andretti United

“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.

MORE: Whincup plans to extend co-driving career

“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).

Connor O’Brien joined V8 Sleuth in 2022 as website Editor. He won the Supercars Media Award in 2017 while working as a sports reporter at the Gold Coast Bulletin, before stints at Supercars and Speedcafe. During his time at V8 Sleuth he's twice (2022, 2023) been named Journalist of the Year at the Supercars Media Awards.