Nick Percat will compete in this year’s Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series with Jay Motorsports.
The reigning Australian Formula Ford Champion has signed a deal with the South Australian team and is locked in to compete in the first three rounds, although he is likely to contest the full series, budgets permitting.
Percat tested on two occasions with Jay Motorsports at the end of last year and impressed the team with his initial speed and maturity.
The 21-year-old will drive the ex-Walkinshaw Racing Commodore VZ – the same chassis that Shane Price drove effectively in last year’s series. Percat is a Walkinshaw Racing-backed driver.
Jay Motorsports team manager Keith Rennie told Speedcafe.com.au that the addition of Percat to the team is exciting.
“He will be with us for the first three rounds, but it’s shaping up that he’ll be with us for the whole year,” he said.
“We had him at two test days last year while we were talking to a lot of drivers about this year, but he shone amongst them. He was very mature the way he approached it. He never put a wheel off the track, never locked a brake. He basically stepped his way into it and came up with the lap times that we wanted.
“We’re really happy we’ve got him and we’re really looking forward to it. I think we’re looking good for podium finishes this year.”
Rennie says that Price’s efforts in the Commodore last year really put his team on the map.
“Shane did a good job for us last year and Nick should be able to do a similar job,” he said.
“Shane’s results put us in a position we’re in now – people know what we’re capable of. We had a slight technical issue at Winton, but apart from that, we absolutely creamed the field there – we had pole position but had it taken away for a small timing discrepancy.”
With Percat locked in, the second drive at the team remains available in the ex-Team Dynamik chassis. Rennie says that he is close to finalising a deal to ensure two Jay Motorsports Commodore VZs are on the grid.
“We’re working towards that with a couple of drivers now,” he said.
“The car’s being prepared ready to go. It’s going to our test day in the middle of February, so we’re taking both cars there and we’re definitely pushing to have two cars for the season.
“That’s our plan. We’re hoping to have our second driver locked in for the test. Failing that, Jay (Verdnik) will drive the car at the test.”
The first round of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series will be held at the Clipsal 500, Adelaide, on March 11-14.