Percat excited by WAU’s Bathurst supremacy
Friday 24th December, 2021 - 2:19pm
Nick Percat’s eyes have been opened by the sheer dominance Walkinshaw Andretti United showed itself capable of during the Bathurst 1000 this month.
It shapes as a watershed moment, as the first time in his career that he’s not in an underdog situation.
Following a rookie campaign at Walkinshaw Racing, seasons 2015-16 at minnows Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport and then the past five years punching above his weight at Brad Jones Racing, he links up with a resurgent WAU organisation that is eyeing championships next season.
And it made quite the statement at Mount Panorama, Chaz Mostert and Lee Holdsworth storming to victory, with Bryce Fullwood and Warren Luff not far behind in fifth.
Next time WAU is lined up on a starting grid, it will be with Mostert and Percat at the Repco Newcastle 500 in early March.
“It’s definitely an exciting time to go there,” Percat told Speedcafe.com.
“Any time a team looks like they’re on the way up, it’s good to get on that early and it looks like we have, and credit to Chaz and [engineer Adam] De Borre and all the team there, all the engineering group.
“I’m just looking forward to going back and getting stuck into it and see what it’s like there now.
“I know what it was before and I think the people running the team now, the culture seems very good so I’m excited to go back.”
Percat himself finished a solid sixth in the 2021 Great Race to end his BJR tenure on a solid note.
“It was nice to be able to take the helmet off on Sunday night and know that we put everything into it and maximised what we had,” he said.
He wound up seventh in the drivers’ championship, his fourth straight end-of-year top 10 ranking.
“Hopefully Brad [Jones] looks back and realises that I put a lot of effort in every time to get the results that we did,” said Percat.
“I feel like the team is in not a bad place for Andre [Heimgartner] and Bryce coming in.”
Heimgartner, Fullwood, Macauley Jones and Jack Smith will be the drivers for a reshuffled BJR in 2022.
As for Percat, WAU is yet to announce who his 2022 race engineer will be, long-time right-hand man Andrew Edwards having headed to Triple Eight Race Engineering to work with two-time champion Shane van Gisbergen.