Percat explains Coulthard apology snub

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 21/10/2017
  • By Mitchell Adam

Nick Percat says his priority after the opening leg of the Vodafone Gold Coast 600 was celebrating Brad Jones Racing’s podium, rather than accepting Fabian Coulthard’s apology for their clash.

Percat and Coulthard were running 10th and 11th when the former locked the rear brakes of his BJR Commodore and ran wide into Turn 11 on lap 73.

After Percat had recovered from his moment and started accelerating out of the corner, he was tagged by Coulthard and turned around, dropping to eventually finish 21st with Macauley Jones.

Coulthard was handed a 15-second time penalty and demoted from 10th to 19th, and the championship leader sought Percat out in parc ferme but was rebuffed.

“The incident with Nick, he had a bit of a wobble on the way in and was wide, he came across pretty hard and I had to check up a little bit and I feel like I got a shove from behind,” Coulthard said. 

“Obviously we can’t do anything now, I have to cop it on the chin. 

“I was a little bit disappointed with Nick, I tried to go and apologise.

“Obviously he’s a little bit annoyed with what happened but he needs to look at circumstances from every angle before he blames judgement.”

Percat explained that the brush was based on wanting to join BJR in celebrating Tim Slade and Andre Heimgartner’s third-place finish.

“BJR has had a crazy year, we were on the podium,” he said. 

“I wanted to celebrate with the boys. We have not had many ups this year. 

“We’ve had fast cars a lot, we probably should’ve had two cars in the top six. But it’s all good. 

“It’s interesting, obviously I was a little bit wide on the way in, I didn’t expect to get turned around because it’s not what we do. 

“That’s alright, I’ll speak to Fabs later. I just wanted to celebrate with our boys, to be honest. 

“Those Penske guys don’t realise, they’ve had a lot of success this year and we’ve had some massive downs, so when there’s a high I want to be a part of it. 

“We’re a massive family team and the culture here is about if I’m not on the podium and Sladey is, we’re there and vice versa, and the same as [Tim] Blanchard.

“In Darwin, when I was on the podium, they were the first two ones to the car. I’m just rapt for the Freightliner boys.

“It’s a shame, another result gone, the Boost car was so fast, just a bit of a recovery after the first stint, Macca got pushed around a little bit but we’ll be back tomorrow.”

Put to Percat the suggestion that Coulthard’s momentum could have been aided by a touch from Rick Kelly’s following Nissan, Percat said: “I wouldn’t have thought so, I think Fabian has a brake pedal.”

For Coulthard, the day saw his championship lead over Jamie Whincup slashed from 91 points to 37, with the Kiwi and Shell V-Power team-mate Scott McLaughlin both struggling for pace in the wet conditions.

"It’s just tricky. We don’t really have a lot of strengths," said Coulthard.

"We’re trying our absolute best, to do the best we can, but we struggled for a little bit of turn, drive and key things you need here."

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