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Percat wins thrilling Albert Park finale

NICK Percat emerged victorious from an action-packed final Supercars race on Sunday morning at Albert Park.

For the second day in a row, an early tangle between two Ford drivers – this time Matt Payne and Chaz Mostert – opened the door for a Chevrolet victory.

Matt Stone Racing driver Percat had to fend off a spirited challenge from Triple Eight duo Broc Feeney and Will Brown in the race’s second half.

Brown eventually finished second, 0.3810s adrift of the winner, to secure the Larry Perkins Trophy for the most points accrued across the weekend.

FULL STANDINGS: Larry Perkins Trophy points

Second-place starter Payne beat polesitter Mostert to the first corner and led the way until halfway through the third lap, when the race’s first dramatic moment occurred.

Mostert locked up into the high-speed Turn 9 and tagged the back of the Penrite entry, carting both Mustangs through the grass.

That handed Percat the lead from Feeney and Cam Waters, with Payne slotting back into fourth ahead of Brown, Mostert and Bryce Fullwood.

The race start. Pic: Ross Gibb

Things got even worse for Payne on the following lap when Fullwood locked up into Turn 1 and spun the Grove Racing youngster.

Payne scrambled back on in 22nd place, while Mostert and Fullwood were given five-second penalties for the respective incidents.

Waters didn’t have the pace to retain third, losing out to Brown and then Mostert on consecutive laps.

That left Percat to fend off the two Triple Eight Camaros.

Feeney made a move for the lead at Turn 11 on lap eight, momentarily taking the spot before a criss-cross manoeuvre put Percat back in front.

Feeney looked to the outside into Turn 13 but then found himself under attack from Brown; the teammates battling it out until Brown pulled ahead at Turn 5.

Brown then went after Percat but the order at the front remained until the flag, delivering Percat’s first win in four years.

“Unbelievable. I’m kind of speechless,” said Percat, who moved to MSR this year after a horror two-year stint with Walkinshaw Andretti United.

“I can’t thank Matt and the whole team enough, Jack Bellotti (engineer), it’s my number one (mechanic) Simon’s birthday next week so happy birthday there.

“Honestly everyone, my future wife Baylee, Mum and Dad, they all backed me so hard.

“I wanted to quit and now Round 2 we’ve won a race, so it’s seriously amazing… a first win with Matt Stone Racing already.”

Thomas Randle rescued a troubled weekend by rising to fourth, ahead of Mostert by virtue of the latter’s penalty, Will Davison, Waters, Richie Stanaway, David Reynolds and Tim Slade.

There was last-lap drama as a fight for the final top 10 spots ended with Ryan Wood spinning Cam Hill into the gravel trap at Turn 6.

Wood was slapped with a 30-second penalty to be classified 21st, while Hill added to a retirements list that also included Jack Le Brocq and Anton De Pasquale.

Le Brocq suffered broken steering in early contact from Randle, while De Pasquale failed to start the race after a mechanical issue on the reconnaissance lap.

Brown leads the championship after six races on 575 points ahead of Feeney (558), Mostert (478), Percat (405) and Reynolds (358).

RESULTS: Race 4, 2024 MSS Security Melbourne SuperSprint

110Nick PercatMSRChevrolet14 laps
287Will BrownTriple EightChevrolet+0.3810s
388Broc Feeney Triple EightChevrolet+0.9944s
455Thomas Randle TickfordFord+9.9320s
525Chaz MostertWAUFord+10.0349s
617Will DavisonDJRFord+14.4397s
76Cam WatersTickfordFord+16.2138s
826Richie StanawayGroveFord+17.0547s
920David ReynoldsTeam 18Chevrolet+17.5480s
1023Tim SladePremiAirChevrolet+17.9223s
1131James Golding PremiAirChevrolet+19.4039s
123Aaron LoveBRTFord+22.4735s
1318Mark WinterbottomTeam 18Chevrolet+23.2947s
1419Matt PayneGroveFord+23.5688s
1599Todd HazelwoodErebusChevrolet+27.8397s
167James CourtneyBRTFord+29.2972s
178Andre HeimgartnerBJRChevrolet+30.678s
1812Jaxon Evans BJRChevrolet+31.0113s
1996Macauley JonesBJRChevrolet+32.3274s
2014Bryce FullwoodBJRChevrolet+35.2442s
212Ryan Wood WAUFord+48.9565s
224Cameron Hill MSRChevroletDNF
239Jack Le BrocqErebusChevroletDNF
2411Anton De PasqualeDJRFordDNS
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