‘Three key things’ responsible for Percat turnaround

Nick Percat

Nick Percat has attributed his upturn in form at Pukekohe to addressing “three key things” in his Walkinshaw Andretti United package.

Percat was a high-profile move in the last Supercars off-season from Brad Jones Racing to WAU, with the Clayton squad hoping he would help propel them to the top of the teams’ championship this year and hence the top of pit lane next year.

However, the South Australian arrived at this weekend’s ITM Auckland SuperSprint in 15th position in the drivers’ standings, 10 behind team-mate Chaz Mostert, with a best race finish of fifth so far this year.

That was all the way back at Albert Park, which hosted the third event of the campaign, whereas the #2 Mobil 1 NTI ZB Commodore finished 15th, 19th, and 22nd (with a power steering issue) last time out at Sandown after qualifying results of 21st, 21st, and 17th.

Today at Pukekohe, he qualified 11th, missing Part 3 of the session by 0.0056s, and moved forward to eighth after the 41 laps which made up Race 27 of the campaign, his best result in 17 races.

Asked what had changed, Percat responded, “There were probably three key things that we found at Sandown that weren’t exactly what we wanted and it’s made a massive difference.

“In this game, you’re talking tenths of seconds so I was always on the back foot of a couple of tenths, and we knew there was something there.

“Thankfully we’ve found it on the lead-in to the back end of the year because there’s huge races coming up with Bathurst and Gold Coast and Adelaide, so I couldn’t be happier to have it back to where it should be.”

Percat felt there was even more in Car #2 in Race 27, had he not been caught up in traffic.

“It’s hard here because we caught, I think it was [Thomas] Randle and someone; they obviously pitted earlier and I caught them really quick.

“Our car, the deg was amazing, and I thought if they throw blue flags at them, I’m going to truck on, and I felt like we probably could have popped out in front of [Scott] Pye, [Broc] Feeney.

“But then once I came out behind them, just didn’t quite have enough to pass them around here [because] it’s quite tricky in the aero wash.

“But yeah, back in the 10 and both cars at the front and I think over the course of the long run, our car’s quite speedy, so it’s good for tomorrow.”

Mostert finished fourth in Race 27, which was taken out by Will Davison, who effectively led all the way.

The WAU drivers maintain fifth and 15th in the drivers’ championship ahead of two more qualifying sessions and two more races tomorrow.

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