Nathan Pretty is keen to continue his 12-year Bathurst 1000 tradition and find a ride for this year’s V8 Supercar endurance races.
The versatile Victorian is yet to secure a seat for the Phillip Island and Bathurst two-driver races and he wants to lock in a deal soon.
He told Speedcafe.com.au that most teams and pit lane folk assumed he was locked into driving with Kelly Racing – the team he drove for last year – and while he may very well drive for the Holden team again, no deal is signed yet.
“I’ve been there 12 years running. I’ve only had two DNFs, and seven top 10s, and I want to keep up my old Bathurst tradition,” he said.
“I’m out there. I’m trying to look for a drive and see how it all goes. A lot of the teams have signed people. There’s still some seats available, so it’s a matter of getting my name out there and what I can offer to a team.”
Pretty’s best result in the Bathurst 1000 is fourth place in 2000 with Todd Kelly in the Holden Young Lions Commodore, as well victory in the 2002 Bathurst 24 Hour in the Garry Rogers Motorsport-prepared Holden Monaro.
He says that being able to stay out of trouble and finish races with a straight car is his greatest attribute.
“I think I bring consistency – especially in finishing races,” he said.
“It’s very important to have a mature head in there, even if you have younger guys there. I’ve certainly enjoyed the co-driver side of things and being able to hand the car over to the main driver and give it back for the guy to take over, and for them to know it’s not going to come back after being in the fence.
“Finishing is my biggest priority, and that’s what I’ve always gone to Bathurst with the aim to do, and I guess it has paid off.”
While he waits to seal his endurance deal for this season, Pretty was at the Australian Grand Prix last weekend working with the Mercedes Speed Comparison demonstration. He looked after the road car that Mick Doohan drove against the TeamVodafone Commodore and the McLaren Mercedes Formula One car.
“I looked after the speed comparison Mercedes for Mick Doohan, just making sure it’s fuelled, clean and looking good for people to look at,” he said.
“They had a whole lot of the F1 guys looking after the McLaren Mercedes car. They’ve got 13 guys looking after that, so it’s pretty intense. It was actually interesting to see what they do there with the F1 car.”