Nick Percat has had a mixed day at Winton in the Coates Hire-backed HHA Racing Commodore.
After qualifying for race seven in the top 10, the Melbourne-based South Australian was confident of a strong performance in the first 100km race of the day. His qualification for the second race of the weekend was hampered by a powersteering issue, miring him in the midpack.
Everything was tracking well in race seven for the #222 Commodore to record a good finish in the opening stoush around the iconic country circuit, that was until a Safety Car period at the midpoint.
He was able to get underway and was the last recorded finisher in position 21.
With plenty of work going on in the Percat garage between races (the race seven incident also involved his Walkinshaw/HRT counterparts in Tim Slade and James Courtney), he was able to re-focus for race eight where he’d start 16th.
The 2011 Bathurst 1000 winner was able to stride forward early, however the end point of the race left him with little Dunlop rubber left on the Coates Hire-backed car and he would finish 15th after another torrid race.
Overall, Fabian Coulthard took his fourth career victory in race seven in his Holden Commodore from Shane van Gisbergen and BJR team-mate Dale Wood, whilst Lee Holdsworth secured the first win for Erebus Motorsport in his Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG in race eight after a week that saw him fight off an intruder in his home. He came home in front of Ford’s Mark Winterbottom and Coulthard.
Tomorrow, a 20 minute qualifying session will take place at 11:20am local time, before a longer 200km race will take place at 3:15pm at Winton.
"It was a tough old day for us in the Coates Hire-backed HHA Racing Commodore. Qualifying went well in the first session ending up in eighth position. The second session was hampered by a power steering failure on our fast lap, which forced me to abort the session. It ended up with me being 15th.
“The two races were hard work, with the track conditions (referencing the track breakup) managing the tyres is key here.
“After the restart in the first race today, we had some contact off a restart and that put us to the back of the field.
“In the second race, I made a good start and passed a few cars. However, towards the end, the tyres were going off and I dropped a few spots towards the end, so we finished 15th.
“The team are working hard on the car now. We have another qualifying session and longer race tomorrow. It’s our home track, so obviously we’re hoping for a strong result. Tonight we will give it a tune up and hopefully have a better day tomorrow."
Coates Hire Racing