PERCAT DRAW ALARM COST AT PODIUM
Nick Percat stormed the field yesterday at Bend Motorsport Park, dropping from last on the grid to finish in fifth, but he explained how a warning light cost him a podium shot on the last lap of the race .
Percat was one of three cars on the course to start on slicks with two of his teammates Macauley Jones and Todd Hazelwood driving the course in greasy conditions.
As his opposition stopped early for dry tires, Percat continued to beat fast laps and was still defining purple sectors just at the end of his long opening stint.
This meant that after his mandatory stoppage, Percat emerged in the fight for third place with racing driver Dick Johnson Anton de Pasquale and Tickford driver Cameron Waters.
Sitting fourth on the last lap Percat on new tires applied pressure to De Pasquale, however, around turn 12 the South Australian admitted he was distracted.
“The one I had for the whole race was late on the last lap so it’s a bit boring,” Percat told Auto Action.
“I had an alarm on the dashboard and it lit up red in just the wrong place.
“I just dragged my eye down, hit some water (on the road) that widened and the water grabbed me. I thought maybe it was a tire pressure light so I looked down and I shouldn’t have.
Still, aside from perhaps dominant winner Andre Heimgartner, the best training has come from South Australia.
Percat explained that he made the last call to start the race on slicks and how he executed the strategy.
“We qualified really well, but it wasn’t real performance that wasn’t where we should be,” he said.
“I love slicks on a greasy track like that so we’re on the grid, there was a bit of back and forth and I said I wanted to be on the slicks.
“I just did my thing and waited my time to start to make sure I could save some tires and didn’t get off the road.
“Then once everyone started to face off we started to move forward and the car was mega and the strategy was good.
“The only problem we had was the radio, I couldn’t understand what AE (Andrew Edwards, his engineer) was saying.”
All four Brad Jones Racing cars qualified from the back of the grid yesterday, but did not perform a dry setup during the wet session. The team will investigate what happened, but Percat is confident that if they qualify in the top 10, they can fight for the win.
“No (we didn’t do a dry qualifying setup), we’re still working on it because I’m not sure there is a tire problem with the tires we used because normally our cars are quite fast in the wet ”. he said.
“In practice and in the race I was in the top two on every lap when it was wet so we’ll have to do some research on that.
“The tire life was mega, and the car was obviously fast, we just have to qualify well, we will care about the race if we can qualify in the top 10, then everything will be fine.”
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