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Percat ‘unsure’ how he snagged seventh after ‘horrific’ failures

Simon Chapman

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Monday 24th February, 2020 - 6:01pm

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Nick Percat pic: BJR

Brad Jones Racing driver Nick Percat said he was surprised to score seventh place in Race 2 of the Supercars season after a double component failure.

Percat lamented a missed opportunity in qualifying at the Superloop Adelaide 500 that should have got him into the Top 10 Shootout. Instead, he began the race from 13th.

“The car was better than I gave it credit when the chassis was correct,” Percat told Speedcafe.com.

“Our Q2 lap was looking really good and then I made a mistake at Turn 9. That cost us a shot at the shootout when we provisionally could have been P3, so that was annoying.

“I gave myself an uppercut for that one.”

After what was already a tough start to the day, the front roll bar failed early on in the race. That was quickly followed by a failure in the rear as well.

To add insult to injury, his brand new Holden Commodore ZB began to suffer overheating issues. A problem with his drink also didn’t help.

“We had a broken front roll bar and then the rear roll bar snapped as well very early in the first stint,” Percat told Speedcafe.com.

“It was a horrific race for car balance. I just did the best I could really. I just drove it as hard as I could every lap without torching the tyres and just played the long game with every stint.

“Obviously the balance was far from ideal. I was very happy to see the finish line.

“I’m unsure how we finished seventh. Full credit to the boys with the strategy, my engineer (Andrew Edwards), he knew I was in a bit of a battle because I went quiet.”

Percat’s Sunday troubles followed what had already been a tough weekend for the South Australian, who had a steering failure on the warm up lap in Race 1.

In that race he went on to finish 22nd, over 10 laps down.

Percat heads to the second round of the championship, the Beaurepaires Melbourne 400, with high hopes.

Brad Jones Racing has claimed podiums in the previous two runnings of the Albert Park event, coinciding with it counting towards the championship.

“Our cars are quite good there,” said Percat.

“(Tim Slade) was on the podium there last year and the year before that I was double podium.

“I feel like we’re going there looking at trying to win it. I think it’s one of our strongest tracks on the calendar.

“To be honest, if we can qualify well it’ll set the weekend up. Track position there is king with not being able to follow and the dirty air.

“I’m confident going to AGP, but I think Symmons Plains will be the real test as a team.”

The second round of the Supercars Championship  supports the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix on March 12-15.

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