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Percat’s MSR blueprint after promising start

FOR Nick Percat, his first Supercars round with Matt Stone Racing was further validation that he really is back.

After a nightmare couple of seasons at Walkinshaw Andretti United, Percat has slotted in seamlessly at MSR, from the moment he experienced the squad’s family environment to his first taste of a Camaro at teammate Cameron Hill’s rookie test in January.

One round into the season, Percat is sixth in the championship after a double top 10 at Bathurst.

The four-time race winner admitted he’d even left a bit of performance on the table, too.

“I probably went a little bit conservative in quali both days because I knew I had a good car and I didn’t want to start down the back, so I probably extracted more from the car in practice than I did in quali,” he told V8 Sleuth.

“I just wanted to have a nice solid weekend with no silly mistakes, and then the races were really good. I think the car speed was quite good.

“It was cool to see how Matt (Stone) and the team work, and it feels like I have been working with my engineer (Jack) Bellotti for years already which is very, very cool.

“So overall it was a really positive weekend and one where I never took any risk with the car, I just tried to be solid and get good points and good results and try to get some momentum for the year.”

Having been impressed by Hill, Percat believes MSR can continue to be frontrunners at next week’s Albert Park round and beyond.

Nick Percat. Pic: Nathan Wong

“I’m pumped for the Grand Prix, I think it will really suit the cars and the philosophy of the set-up quite well and it’s usually a track I go pretty good at, even in bad years,” said the #10 Bendix Camaro driver.

“I think from here on, I have definitely got a taste of where we can be, so I want to definitely bring home some trophies.

“But the long-term goal of where we are with the team, it’s about building good foundations and trying to help the younger crew members and stuff like that and just make sure we have a really well-oiled machine come the middle of the year and into enduros and continue that into next year.”

Both Percat and Hill are on two-year deals through 2025.

The MSS Security Melbourne SuperSprint will run across March 21-24 in support of the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.

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