Fuel flow tightrope led to Percat’s dramatic finish
Sunday 9th May, 2021 - 8:57pm
A race-to-race overcompensation led to Nick Percat requiring help to make it back to the pits after the OTR SuperSprint finale.
Percat was seen getting pushed home on the in-lap by Brad Jones Racing team-mate Todd Hazelwood.
The 32-year-old had just made the finish line to take sixth position despite running out of fuel at the final corner in Race 11.
“I tried to limp it home with no throttle,” Percat told Speedcafe.com.
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“I didn’t want to damage the engine so I turned it off and then I saw Todd coming from a mile back.
“I said to tell Todd to push me and I swerved in front of him to signal that I needed him to push me, and he pushed me back.”
Hazelwood added, “You never want to leave your team-mate hanging out there.
“It was a bit awkward because then I was actually low on fuel as well but we all made it back. A couple of little scratch marks on a couple of stickers but other than that we got the cars back all safe.”
It has since been made clear a fuel flow issue had caused the drama.
“We had a big misfire halfway through the lap in the second qualifying session,” explained Percat.
“So we rectified all of that and then we were close on lambda breaching in Race 2 [of the weekend] and then obviously doing some repairs to the car after getting turned around by Brodie [Kostecki] and [David] Reynolds, we just overcompensated on making sure we were under the lambda rule, which happens.
“Other than that, the car was mint and Todd just had to give us a lift home.
“It was a little bit disappointing because I think we fuel saved for a good 10 or so laps.
“I don’t know if I would have got [fourth-placed Jamie] Whincup, I think I would have given him a good run, but probably could have beaten Chaz [Mostert for fifth place].”
In his fifth season with the Albury squad, Percat was proud with the way BJR bounced back after hitting rock bottom in Saturday qualifying when its four cars locked out the last two rounds on the grid.
Percat took two top six results at The Bend Motorsport Park – and that could have been three, if not for getting spun on the opening lap of Race 10 when Kostecki divebombed Reynolds.
“The car was really fast in practice so qualifying [poorly] in the wet was so unexpected it wasn’t funny,” he said.
“[The team] dug in and got it done, and if it wasn’t for Brodie getting a bit ambitious down at [Turn] 6 in Race 2, that Race 2 car was an absolute jet. Honestly that was probably a guaranteed podium.”
Percat is ninth in the championship, with the next round to take place at BJR’s home track, Winton Motor Raceway, on May 29-30.