Percat wins chaotic rain hit Clipsal 500

Sunday 6th March, 2016


Author: Stefan Bartholomaeus ©

Nick Percat

Nick Percat

Local driver Nick Percat has given Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport an unlikely maiden V8 Supercars victory in a chaotic final race at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide.

Heavy rain wreaked havoc from the outset, requiring a delayed start under Safety Car and eventually a race stoppage after 41 of the scheduled 78 laps.

The race was restarted five minutes ahead of its time cut-off with Scott McLaughlin leading Will Davison, Craig Lowndes, Todd Kelly, Lee Holdsworth and Nick Percat.

Percat assumed the lead at the start of the final lap as those in front were forced to pit over the final minutes in order to complete their mandatory 140 litre fuel drop.

Remarkably, Fabian Coulthard managed to wrestle the lead from Percat at Turn 7, only to lose the position again on the exit.

“This is unbelievable, I’ve watched this race since I was in a pram,” beamed Percat.

“I knew I had a good car in the wet and it was really fun battling Fabian at the end there.”

Coulthard and team-mate Scott Pye took the flag second and third respectively but were both dealt 30 second post-race penalties for not completing the fuel drop.

The pair were subsequently classified 16th and 17th in the final result.

That left Michael Caruso to be elevated to second ahead of Garth Tander, Cameron Waters, David Reynolds, Todd Kelly, Rick Kelly, Jason Bright, Mark Winterbottom and Shane van Gisbergen.

Chaos had reigned from the outset, with several teams confused as to whether the initial laps under Safety Car were being counted as part of the race and therefore whether the first part of the fuel drop could be completed.

The first stint saw Coulthard and Van Gisbergen trade the lead, with the latter twice dropping back with uncharacteristic mistakes in the wet conditions.

James Courtney made his way to the front before being spun by Van Gisbergen, handing the front-running to Lowndes.

Courtney, Lowndes and Chaz Mostert held the top three spots after the field changed from wets to dries around the 20 lap mark.

Mostert and Courtney then both crashed out in separate incidents at Turn 8, with Courtney’s demise occurring while the heaviest of the rain hit just prior to the red flags.

“Before I even turned in it started aquaplaning and I was a passenger.” he said. “It’s massively disappointing.”

Despite the severity of the rain, little over 10 minutes elapsed between the red flags being called and the field being sent back onto the track for the restart.

Uncertainty over which drivers needed to pit to complete their fuel drop made for an intense final few minutes, culminating in Percat sweeping to the front as erstwhile leaders McLaughlin and Lowndes pitted at the end of the penultimate lap.

Caruso’s consistent performances across the Adelaide weekend have left him leading the championship standings from Whincup and Tander.

Result: V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 Race 3 

1 LD Motorsports Nick Percat Holden Commodore VF 48 01:49:03.6598
2 Nissan Motorsport Michael Caruso Nissan Altima 48 01:49:10.7693
3 Holden Racing Team Garth Tander Holden Commodore VF 48 01:49:12.4237
4 Prodrive Racing Australia Cameron Waters Ford Falcon FG/X 48 01:49:14.9427
5 Erebus Motorsport Penrite David Reynolds Holden Commodore VF 48 01:49:16.5672
6 carsales Racing Todd Kelly Nissan Altima 48 01:49:17.1816
7 Nissan Motorsport Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 48 01:49:17.6468
8 Team BOC Jason Bright Holden Commodore VF 48 01:49:18.8244
9 The Bottle-O Racing Team Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG/X 48 01:49:20.0672
10 Red Bull Racing Australia Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore VF 48 01:49:20.7524
11 Team Cooldrive Tim Blanchard Holden Commodore VF 48 01:49:30.7967
12 Wilson Security Racing GRM Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 48 01:49:30.9636
13 Team Vortex Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VF 48 01:49:31.3110
14 Red Bull Racing Australia Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VF 48 01:49:48.4478
15 Team Darrell Lea STIX Will Davison Holden Commodore VF 48 01:50:03.2827
16 DJR Team Penske Fabian Coulthard Ford Falcon FG/X 48 01:50:03.9015
17 DJR Team Penske Scott Pye Ford Falcon FG/X 48 01:50:10.1789
18 Preston Hire Racing Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore VF 48 01:50:12.2499
19 LD Motorsports Andre Heimgartner Holden Commodore VF 45 01:49:22.1215
20 Freightliner Racing Tim Slade Holden Commodore VF 43 01:50:33.4309
21 Holden Racing Team James Courtney Holden Commodore VF 41 01:51:36.6061
22 Wilson Security Racing GRM James Moffat Volvo S60 38 01:50:35.8775
DNF GB Galvanizing Racing Dale Wood Nissan Altima 30    57:54.1538
DNF Supercheap Auto Racing Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon FG/X 27    49:03.2602
DNF Plus Fitness Racing Aaren Russell Holden Commodore VF

Championship Standings

1 Michael Caruso 222
2 Jamie Whincup 207
3 Garth Tander 202
4 Shane Van Gisbergen 197
5 Scott McLaughlin 189
6 James Courtney 186
7 Cameron Waters 184
8 Todd Kelly 181
9 Nick Percat 171
10 Rick Kelly 171
11 David Reynolds 166
12 Mark Winterbottom 165
13 Jason Bright 159
14 Craig Lowndes 153
15 Will Davison 138
16 Scott Pye 136
17 Fabian Coulthard 127
18 Tim Blanchard 104
19 James Moffat  96
20 Chaz Mostert  92
21 Lee Holdsworth  90
22 Andre Heimgartner  89
23 Tim Slade  72
24 Dale Wood  47
25 Chris Pither  25
 26 Aaren Russell   9