Percat Grabs Fourth Place In Townsville
Coates Hire Racing's Nick Percat has enjoyed his best day out in the V8 Supercars with a fourth place finish in the opening race of the Castrol Townsville 500.
Aboard the HHA Commodore for Walkinshaw Racing, Percat also collected a ninth place finish in the day's second 125km race. The fourth place result was his best individual driver race result for the rookie in the V8 Supercars Championship.
A major highlight also came in qualifying where the 25 year old scored a front row start. This was by far his best qualifying performance in the series.
In the day's opening race Percat started from ninth on the grid and despite plenty of bash and barge in front and behind him, importantly none of it involved the #222 HHA entry.
Percat kept a cool head throughout the race and moved into the top 5. Then with less than 10 laps to run he took advantage as Scott McLaughlin was pushed wide by Will Davison and moved to fourth.
A good clean start for the Percat in the day's second race had him sitting in second place throughout the opening laps. When he came to the pits a stuck wheel gun cost precious seconds and he fell outside the top-10.
Good driving and some tough battles with the likes of Jamie Whincup and Mark Winterbottom brought him back inside the top-10 at the finish.
"To be coming out and battling for a front row grid spot and a fourth place finish, plus another top-10 is awesome for everyone on the team," said Percat.
"I can't wait until the longer race tomorrow as our car seems to hold onto the tyre quite well. It would be nice to be battling for a podium.
"Qualifying was really pleasing. When the car hooks up it makes life so much easier. Even the lap that gave us second on the grid didn't actually feel special.
"It was great to battle with the likes of Whincup and really take the fight to him. Fighting with the top guys throughout the races and we never touched and gave each other racing room.
"It's good to be part of the younger brigade giving it to the gurus of the sport."
Percat will be back aboard the Coates Hire sponsored Commodore for qualifying and the 250km finale later on Sunday afternoon.
Earlier in the day Coates Hire Racing John Bowe took to the track in the IL Bello Russo Ferrari 458 Italia G in the Australian GT Championship.
Starting third Bowe suffered a puncture on just the second lap and had to make an unscheduled stop. Along with Tony D'Alberto he went on to finish in 17th place.
Bowe will have another two 40-minute races on Sunday.
Race 20 Results
5. van Gisbergen
14. R Kelly
18. T Kelly
Race 21 Results
4. van Gisbergen
19. R Kelly
20. T Kelly