Season in review: Nick Percat

  • 15/12/2016
  • By Courtney Callow
  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

Nick Percat completed his final year with Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport, before he moves to Brad Jones Racing in 2017. 

Despite his goal for the year being “derailed” by some misfortune off-track, Percat highlights the seasons positives, producing some “decent results”, claiming a win at the Clipsal 500 and a podium finish at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000. 

Finishing 18th in the Championship, Percat answered Supercars.com’s quick questions on the year with Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport.

1. What was your best race?

Race 21

I think the best result was Clipsal, but best race was Bathurst because we had quite a lot of pace there it was a massive team effort all weekend and was a good recovery after qualifying poorly so I think for myself and the team it was the best, closely followed by the Sunday race in Homebush.

2. Most disappointing race?

Practice 1

Probably Sunday race at Homebush as well because it was one where it was our best qualifying I’ve had with LDM for two years.

I showed really good pace, got a puncher during the race and managed to recover and get back inside the top ten and then we got taken out of that top ten by will with four corners to go was massively disappointing, not just for me but for the whole crew because they worked so hard and didn’t get the reward.

3. Best on-track battle?

The one with Cam Waters at Bathurst because we were battling for the podium there, both tight on fuel and yeah driving the cars hard as we could with the amount of fuel we had so that was fun and it was one where if either of us made a mistake it allowed the other one off the hook.

4. Best off-track memory or experience?

Nick Percat of Lucas Dumbrell Racing during the Clipsal 500,  at the Adelaide Street Circuit, Adelaide, South Australia, March 06, 2016.

At Clipsal 500, seeing the smile on Lucas face his first win in the championship and my first win as a standalone race. It’s something I’ll never forget just to see the joy on his face and just the whole team loving it and my family and friends, that was definitely the highlight.

5. Best performance by another driver?

Tim Slade at Winton. He and the team dominated the whole weekend, won all the race comfortably, didn’t make one single mistake.

It’s so hard to win by any sort of margin in this category at the moment, so for him to win all the races with margin, comfortably, was really impressive.

6. What was your goal at the start of the season and how did that play out?

My goal was to be close to that top twelve of the championship, due to a few things off-track with LDM and a few mechanical failures and bits and pieces going on it probably derailed that a little bit.

We bounced back pretty well towards the end, didn’t get back to where we wanted to be but has some decent results. I wanted to score a podium for LDM, I didn’t think I’d get a win a race so Bathurst podium and Clipsal win outweigh a lot of the negative and getting LDM into the shootout was a huge positive as well

7. What was the team’s biggest achievement for the year?

I think the fact that the core group of people stuck together and stuck it out through a pretty tough time around Townsville and Queensland Raceway where we had no branding on the car, obviously a lot of negative media and stories getting around about the team and I was super impressed how everyone had each other’s back. 

I think for LDM the off-track side of things where everyone was a team player through the really hard times.

8. What was the biggest news story of the year?

Race 21

Bathurst between Whincup, Tander and McLaughlin

9. Who do you think will improve the most in 2017?

Myself in championship land, I’m in for a good year with BJR and as a team I think DJR Team Penske have a lot of room to improve on the year they’ve had, I think everyone expected them to go a lot better than they did.  

10. What are you most looking forward to in 2017?

Starting with BJR and working with Slade and Blanchard. Back to working in a bigger team with a lot of structure, obviously fast race cars with really good crew and personnel there.

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