Last on the grid to podium fight: Percat's stunning charge

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 08/05/2021
  • By Charlie Bullis

Saturday’s Race 9 at The Bend Motorsport Park marked another key turnaround for Nick Percat, who climbed 22 places in Race 9 at the OTR SuperSprint.

The Brad Jones Racing driver started from 26th and last on the grid after another dismal qualifying performance by the team.

However, a smart strategy play by the team, with Percat going long in the changeable conditions, saw the 2011 Bathurst winner emerge from his late stop in the thick of a podium battle.

Anton De Pasquale managed to clear Percat, but Cameron Waters was unable to fight past as the #8 R&J Batteries entry’s tyres came up to speed.

WATCH: RACE 9 HIGHLIGHTS

However, a final lap mistake cost him a potential shot at a podium, with Waters driving through into fourth.

“Really it was the one that got away,” Percat said.

“My radio wasn’t great so I couldn’t understand AE [Andrew Edwards, race engineer] was saying, so I think we pitted a bit after, so we didn’t optimise that part.”

One-lap pace has eluded the team for the past two rounds, but their race pace continues to impress.

BJR played Percat into the race, keeping him out longer to assume the lead of the race, when most made a beeline to the lane.

While he missed out on the podium, Percat was delighted with the turnaround from qualifying.

“The boys did a mega job, the car on slicks is obviously super-fast,” Percat said.

“It was great just to repay everyone, we’ve come off a dead-ringer in 26th to nearly a podium.

WATCH: WEATHER CONTINUES TO CATCH OUT HARD CHARGERS

“I drove up the road on the last lap and we lost a spot to Waters, but we just need to qualify a bit further up.”

Percat sits ninth in the championship, 17 points behind Race 9 winner Andre Heimgartner.

The Repco Supercars Championship field will return on Sunday for Race 10 qualifying at 9:40am AEST, ahead of Race 10 at 1:00pm, before the weekend ends with Race 11 at 4:10pm. Check out the full weekend schedule here.

The OTR SuperSprint will be broadcast live on Foxtel and will be streamed on Kayo with highlights on 7 and 7 Plus.

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