Nick Percat expects multiple teams to challenge in 2024
Seven teams won races in 2023, the first year of Gen3
Percat arrives at MSR, which claimed its first pole and win last year
Matt Stone Racing recruit Nick Percat expects a number of teams to vie for 2024 glory, saying "there’s not many teams that can’t win races” with Gen3.
In the first season of the new Gen3 cars, 10 different drivers from seven different teams visited victory lane. Only five seasons in the 64-year history of the championship have produced more different winners.
While Erebus Motorsport and Triple Eight led the way, a number of teams scored wins, some — like MSR, Team 18 and Penrite Racing under sole Grove ownership — taking their first.
Percat joins MSR in the wake of the team’s best season, which included a first win and pole courtesy of Jack Le Brocq at Hidden Valley.
The 2011 Bathurst winner expects Erebus and Triple Eight to again feature at the front, as well as Penrite Racing and Tickford Racing, which won two of the last four races.
However, he also expects Dick Johnson Racing and his former team, Walkinshaw Andretti United, to improve, creating a six-way logjam at the very least.
“Erebus, Triple Eight, Tickford and Groves are pretty fast, I think they’re the teams that will come out of the blocks fast,” Percat told Supercars.com.
“DJR and WAU have huge resources and budget too, so there’s no reason why they can’t be up there as well.
“Now with the Gen3 formula, there’s not many teams that can’t win races, which is cool. Credit to Supercars for getting cars in the wind tunnel.
“Also, different characteristics in the engines will create good racing too, because it’s hard to pass someone when they have the same equipment as you."
Of the 11 teams on the grid, nine scored a trophy, leaving PremiAir Racing and Blanchard Racing Team chasing their first podiums.
Both teams, the two youngest on the grid, have recently increased firepower off the track, PremiAir Racing announcing Friday that decorated engineer Ludo Lacroix has signed on.
BRT, meanwhile, has expanded to two cars and welcomes the likes of 2010 champion James Courtney and new Team Manager Kate Harrington, among others.
The 2024 bodes to be closer, given cars were sent to the United States for wind tunnel testing, along with ongoing engine work amid the introduction of transient dyno testing.
Percat added the second season of Gen3 offers a big chance for a team like BRT, given the new cars have more control parts and how the previous-generation cars were increasingly developed in later years.
“It’s a big opportunity for someone like Tim [Blanchard] with JC [James Courtney] going to his team,” Percat said.
“When you look up and down pit lane, it’s not as easy as it once was, where you could develop parts to suit driving styles and set-up philosophies."
The new season will commence at the Thrifty Bathurst 500 on February 23-25. Tickets are on sale now.