Why an on-air Percat interview was stuck on mute

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 16/09/2021
  • By Charlie Bullis

Nick Percat's beloved four-legged friend made an entertaining cameo during the driver's Eseries return on Wednesday night.

Percat's chocolate Labrador Nelson featured in the background of his driver's Supercars Eseries broadcast.

Nelson, a popular fixture in last year’s series, was dubbed the 'official dog of Supercars' when Percat took to his simulator.

Prior to his All Stars appearance at Monza, which was won by Brodie Kostecki, Percat was set to be interviewed by Neil Crompton from his new home on the Gold Coast.

However, Percat was left unable to turn on his microphone during a pre-race interview via Zoom.

Percat's interview with Crompton was abandoned, and on take two, the 2011 Bathurst winner revealed what transpired.

Nelson had accidentally pressed the mute button as they went live on air.

"Nelson has obviously engineered me really well," Percat laughed.

"He ruined our chat and he's more interested in the pizza I've got sitting over there."

It was Percat's first public appearance since he announced his exit from Brad Jones Racing.

Percat was adamant he wasn't leaving the team on bad terms, but admitted he was ready for a chance.

"I've had a really good five years with Brad Jones Racing, and we're not parting on bad ways," Percat said.

"It was a tough decision, obviously, it was the hardest decision of my life.

"It’s not something I took easily, but something clicked in my head. I woke up and said, I think I need to move on, it's run its course.

"For me, I just needed a bit of a change."

Percat scored a Darwin podium in June

Percat joined BJR in 2017 and scored two wins at Sydney Motorsport Park in 2020.

He recorded a podium finish in Darwin earlier this season, before narrowly missing third in the opening race at Townsville.

Percat remained in Queensland following the Townsville doubleheader in July, making the move permanently to the Gold Coast a few weeks later.

"Like anything, if both parties aren't 100 per cent loving it or happy with what they are doing, it's never going to work," he continued.

"In any elite sport, the margins are so tight, so I think, for me, it was best to not have this little thing in the back of my head, wondering if I should have moved on or tried to move on or something like that.

"I do apologise for the confusion of announcing I’m staying and then I've done this, but I’ve really enjoyed my time with Brad Jones Racing.

Percat won in Sydney for BJR in 2020

"Hopefully one day Brad can talk to me again and enjoy a friendship that we've always had.

"But now I know I need to let him have a little bit of a time to think about it and process it and we'll go racing in a few weeks’ time and hopefully get more trophies for him."

Shortly after Percat's announcement, BJR confirmed Andre Heimgartner will join the team in 2022.

Percat is now chasing a drive for 2022, with the four-time race winner linked to the likes of Walkinshaw Andretti United and Tickford Racing.

"I need to secure a drive now next year, but it's all as all looking pretty positive," Percat said of his 2022 plans.

"The amazing thing was Brad was able to release me after we spoke about it a lot over probably four or five weeks.

"Now I can go and try and sort myself out for my future and put myself where I think I need to be."

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