Dehydrated Percat lost 5.5kg during Race 15

Nick Percat

Nick Percat says he’s feeling good despite losing more than five kilograms due to dehydration after his drink bottle failed in Race 15.

The R&J Batteries Racing driver went without his drink in a hot 87-lap opener at the NTI Townsville 500, resulting in a trip to the medical centre after the race.

Brad Jones described Percat as being “cooked” after the opening race of the weekend, which was won by Red Bull Ampol Racing’s Shane van Gisbergen.

“Dr Carl and the medical team did a mega job,” said Percat.

“They had to put some fluids into me. I think I weighed in at 76 [kgs] before the race and then 70.5 [kgs] after; purely because [I had] no fluids in there and sweated it all out.

“I’m feeling good today.”

Percat, who finished fourth in the opening encounter, qualified a provisional seventh for Race 16.

He was the leading Brad Jones Racing driver ahead of team-mate Todd Hazelwood in ninth.

However, Percat’s last-minute effort cost fellow BJR driver Macauley Jones a spot in the Top 10 Shootout.

“I kind of feel a little bit guilty now that you’ve just told me I’ve bumped Macauley out of the shootout,” Percat said of Jones, who qualified 11th.

“I told him yesterday, ‘You’re on the cusp of getting in’ and I’m the bloke who’s pushed him out. It’s a good job by them though to be 11th also.”

Qualifying for Race 16 wasn’t without drama for Percat, who suffered steering dramas as he rolled onto the Reid Park Street Circuit.

“I had a few little niggling issues on Car #8, we obviously saw with Scotty Pye around here yesterday the cars get bashed up,” said Percat, noting Pye’s steering rack failure in Race 15.

“I rolled out for quali and I think the [steering] rack slipped. I was driving around with a fair bit of right-hand-down and that was a bit of a variable steering position during the lap.

“It just made it a bit tricky. I’d turn left and it would respond crazy fast and then I would turn right and I felt like I was piling lock in.

“Other than that, I’m in the shootout, just what we needed to do. I just wanted to get into the shootout. I’ve got a set of greens to come in the shootout as well. Yeah, happy days.”

The Top 10 Shootout for Race 16 gets underway at 12:05 AEST with the race to follow 14:45 AEST.

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