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HomeNewsRyco Rewind: The biggest upset in Adelaide 500 history

Ryco Rewind: The biggest upset in Adelaide 500 history

IT was perhaps one of the wildest, wettest and weirdest Supercars races you’ll ever see – Race 3 of the 2016 Clipsal 500 in Adelaide.

On this day – March 6 – in 2016, Nick Percat splashed his way to a shock Clipsal 500 win in the Sunday leg of the Hall of Fame event.

Driving for Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport, the South Australian sealed victory on his home circuit on a crazy kind of day.

Firstly, the race start was delayed after Erebus rookie Aaren Russell crashed on the formation lap and the race was started behind the Safety Car.

Rain arrived during the day and the race began behind the Safety Car as a result.

The rain turned the track into a skating rink and, with three Safety Car periods (two of them due to weather), plus a red flag race suspension on lap 42 of the scheduled 78, it meant there was no chance for the full 250-kilometre race to fit in the available tie window.

With a time certain finish of 5.18pm local time plus one lap, the full lap distance was simply no chance of being reached. However, despite the full lap distance not being completed, the requirement for each car to achieve a minimum fuel drop of 140 litres remained in the rule book.

Percat’s SP Tools-backed LDM Commodore splashes through the Adelaide rain. Photo: an1images.com / Dirk Klynsmith.

It was an element of the race that Percat, LDM and engineer Chris Stuckey executed to perfection and the #222 Commodore took the lead on the penultimate lap from DJR Team Penske pilot Fabian Coulthard and splashed home to an upset win.

Coulthard and teammate Scott Pye finished second and third on the road but were each handed 60-second post-race time penalties for not complying with the minimum fuel drop and were classified 16th and 17th in the final order.

That elevated Michael Caruso’s Nissan to finish second on the podium clear of Garth Tander’s HRT Commodore, thereby moving Caruso into the championship points lead for the first time in his career.

The Adelaide event is now at the other end of the Repco Supercars Championship calendar, but it will take something pretty amazing at this year’s VAILO Adelaide 500 to top what happened on this day in 2016!

This story is the latest in our series of Ryco Rewind stories as we take a look back through Australian motorsport history and explore the great races, drivers and cars from the past on the relevant anniversary.

There’s cars in there somewhere! The 2016 Clipsal 500 Sunday race was one hell of a day … Photo: an1images.com / Dirk Klynsmith.
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