Percat wants his own version of Mostert/De Borre relationship

Nick Percat at Winton Motor Raceway. Picture: Ross Gibb

Nick Percat has admitted to being slightly envious of team-mate Chaz Mostert’s relationship with long-time race engineer Adam De Borre.

Percat developed a strong bond with Andrew Edwards across the previous four years at Brad Jones Racing before both embarked on new journeys – Percat at Walkinshaw Andretti United, and Edwards at Triple Eight Race Engineering.

The 2011 Bathurst 1000 winner was on the pace straightaway in his #2 Mobil 1 NTI Racing Holden, taking fourth in Practice 1 at Sydney Motorsport Park this afternoon, just behind Mostert.

Percat spoke positively of the way his combination with Slater has begun and hopes it can reach a level akin to that seen on the other side of the garage.

“He’s very calm on the radio, very calm in the way he delivers things and that’s what Nick needs and that’s why AE [Andrew Edwards] was good for me,” Percat said of Slater, who last year engineered Fabian Coulthard.

“I’m really looking forward to what myself and Geoff can achieve here at Walkinshaw Andretti United because I feel like it has the right ingredients.

“I watch the way Chaz and Adam are and after the test day I was like, I actually envy how much they understand each other and I’m looking to getting to that point with Geoff.”

While Anton De Pasquale wound up fastest of all, probably the biggest surprise in Practice 1 was Mark Winterbottom claiming second.

Team 18 and particularly Winterbottom struggled through the SMP quadruple-header last year, but the 2015 champion believes his early pace is an accurate representation.

“The rain is obviously going to be around all weekend but you have got to be opportunistic and when it dried out a little bit everyone just ran in and put the slicks on,” said ‘Frosty’.

“The car was pretty good… we had a really good test.

“Early days but I’d rather be there than down the back.

“But conditions are going to change all weekend so in that session I think P2 is probably where we were in genuine terms. It’s a good start to the season.”

Winterbottom’s team-mate Scott Pye was fifth, completing a strong start for the Charlie Schwerkolt-led squad.

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