Percat announces shock BJR departure

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 13/09/2021
  • By James Pavey

Nick Percat has announced he will leave Brad Jones Racing at season’s end, just three months after inking a contract extension with the team.

Percat joined BJR in 2017, and recently signed a multi-year extension for 2022 and beyond.

However, the driver himself confirmed he will not return with BJR in 2022.

"I will be parting ways Brad Jones Racing at the end of the 2021 Supercars Championship season," Percat wrote in a statement.

"This has been a difficult decision to make.

"Brad has always backed me and had faith in me to do the job for the team, and I can’t thank him and the whole team at Brad Jones Racing enough for the last five years.

"Together we’ve battled the highs and the lows, added trophies to the cabinet and had plenty of good times. Most importantly I’ve built some very good friendships which I hope will continue on.

"In regards to next season and beyond, I’ll be announcing mine and Nelson’s plans in due course but I can confirm Nelson will not be relinquishing his role as the unofficial dog of Supercars anytime soon."

In a short team statement, BJR said its focus remains on finishing the 2021 season with Percat "strongly".

"At the completion of the 2021 Supercars championship season, Nick Percat will depart Brad Jones Racing," it reads.

"Nick joined the team in 2017 and went on to start 134 races for 2 race wins, 7 podium finishes and a pole position.

"BJR continues to focus on the rest of the 2021 championship with Nick and we will be working hard to finish the season strongly."

The announcement throws another major curveball in the 2022 silly season, with Percat now on the lookout for a new team.

Last week, it was confirmed Andre Heimgartner will leave Kelly Grove Racing at season’s end.

Percat has already scored a podium in 2021, in Darwin

As it stands, BJR has yet to confirm any of its four drivers for 2022.

With Percat now a free agent, 13 of the 25 seats for 2022 have been filled.

One of those seats is at Walkinshaw Andretti United, with Percat a long-time racer out of the Walkinshaw stable.

Percat made his co-driver and main game debuts in Walkinshaw cars, famously winning Bathurst on debut in 2011.

That came with the Holden Racing Team, which has since been renamed WAU.

'This has been a difficult decision to make'

Chaz Mostert re-signed with WAU just weeks before Percat’s BJR extension was announced, and has yet to have his 2022 teammate confirmed.

Bryce Fullwood, the 2019 Super2 champion, has competed with WAU since 2020.

Heimgartner, meanwhile, also has experience with BJR, having scored a podium for the team on the streets of Surfers Paradise in 2017.

Only Red Bull Ampol Racing, Shell V-Power Racing Team, Erebus Motorsport, Team Sydney and Blanchard Racing Team have locked in their full 2022 line-ups.

Seats remain at Kelly Grove Racing, Tickford Racing, Team 18 and Matt Stone Racing.

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