Report card: Nick Percat

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 08/06/2016
  • By Kassie Gadeke

With a break between Winton and Darwin, supercars.com is analysing the drivers’ results and performances in this first part of the season. The racing is the closest in history, with nine different winners in 11 races.

Nick Percat LDM Tasmania 2016

Nick Percat, Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport
Engineer:
Chris Stuckey

Average qualifying position: 22.2
Average finishing position: 18.7
Championship position: 21
Points to leader: 546
Wins: 1
Pole positions: 0

Best result: Sunday win, Clipsal 500
A mature drive in tricky conditions and the correct strategy call by Stuckey meant LDM achieved its first ever Supercars win, and Percat his first solo victory after winning Bathurst in 2011 with Garth Tander.

Low point: Missing Winton qualifying
An engine issue forced Percat to sit out of qualifying at his test track while the team changed the motor. He started last and finished 21st on the Saturday.

For: There’s no doubt Percat is a talented driver – he says himself he challenged Scott McLaughlin, Scott Pye and Chaz Mostert in previous categories when they had more even equipment. He won Bathurst as a co-driver on debut and clocked up podiums at Sydney Motorsport Park and Bathurst in 2014 in a Walkinshaw Racing car.

His strong words about wanting to focus on driving, rather than doubling with a role behind the scenes show he’s determined to succeed. And having a young driver who isn’t afraid to speak his mind publicly is refreshing and exciting for the fans and the media.

He has paid his dues in a developing team and will strive for good results for boss and good friend Lucas Dumbrell this year – the better his numbers, the better the offers for 2017.

Against: Opportunities are few and far between with the car’s reliability.

Percat polarises fans with his comments, so while some enjoy his outspoken character, others will chop him down.

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

The team: While Percat’s engineer Stuckey is solely engineering (unlike team manager Barry Hay running teammate Andre Heimgartner’s car) he is preparing for both cars. Percat’s words about looking for a competitive drive understandably shook things up behind the scenes, boss Barry Hay acknowledged his frustrations and committed to improvement with hopes of upgrades comes Townsville. Is that soon enough to make progress?

Rating: C
Could be our next superstar in the right seat.

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