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Percat/Luff combo eight years in the making

NICK Percat and Warren Luff’s pairing at the 2022 Repco Bathurst 1000 will come eight years after it was first on the cards.

Having battled for the 2013 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia title – ultimately finishing second and third behind Craig Baird – Percat and Luff were due to combine at Walkinshaw Racing the next year.

Percat was the highly rated rookie and Luff the Triple Eight refuge who had lost his drive despite back-to-back Bathurst podium finishes with Craig Lowndes.

“When I originally signed at (Walkinshaw) for 2014, I was meant to partner Nick,” Luff recalled to V8 Sleuth.

“Within weeks of signing it all sort of got changed around and I ended up with Garth, but originally in 2014 Nick and I were meant to partner up so it’s interesting how it has gone full circle and we’re now finally getting to go to Bathurst together.”

The spanner in the works at the time proved to be Jonathon Webb, who Triple Eight blocked from driving with Tander at the Holden Racing Team given Webb’s own Tekno Autosports team’s status as a Triple Eight customer.

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As indicated by Luff, he ended up joining Tander instead, while Oliver Gavin combined with Percat to take third place that year and Webb stayed with Shane van Gisbergen.

Percat, Luff and Walkinshaw Andretti United all enter with plenty of Great Race runs on the board.

Percat and Luff will share Car #2. Pic: Walkinshaw Andretti United

Percat won on debut in 2011 and backed that up with podiums in ’14 and ’16 (the latter for minnow Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport).

Luff is a six-time Bathurst 1000 podium finisher, four of which have come with the Clayton outfit, and WAU was the dominant team last year with its #25 entry led by Chaz Mostert winning.

Now aged 46 and with the potential of Lee Holdsworth rejoining the WAU co-driver ranks next season, the question looms about how long Luff will go on.

Asked if retirement had crossed his mind, the Gold Coaster replied with conviction: “No, not really.

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“My passion and love and my desire to want to do it is as high as what it was when I first started out. I’ve obviously been very fortunate in my career and been able to go to Bathurst for so many years now and had some great success.

“The desire and hunger and effort I’m putting in away from the track is just as strong as ever, so hopefully I’ll still be coming here for many more years to come.”

Opening practice for the Repco Supercars Championship at Mount Panorama begins today at 11am.

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