Qualified: 13th – 1m12.5082s
Provisional Pole Position: Scott McLaughlin – 1m12.1193s
Top Ten Shootout
Pole Position: Cam Waters
Race 18 – 200kms
Winner: Shane Van Gisbergen
Townsville set a wildly entertaining stage for the final day of racing here in Townsville, with overcast conditions returning and the chance of rain keeping everyone’s eyes on the skies.
Qualifying was first on the agenda, and with less than half a second between 1st and 15th, Nick was in the latter group in that half a second; and would start the race from 13th.
As the grid cleared for the start of the race, light but consistent rain was falling on the circuit. It made for a slippery start to the 200km race, with front runners Scott McLaughlin and David Reynolds making heavy contact early which sent them down the back of the field. Nick was able to capitalise on some of the early action, moving quickly into the top ten.
A safety car was called on lap 20 when Jamie Whincup lost grip over a kerb and found himself in the wall, then team strategies came quickly into full play. Nick had already pitted, so those who hadn’t, either came in for their first stop, and a few that had early issues aimed to make the most of the safety car, opting to take a second stop. The rain increased by lap 30 and Nick made his second stop in the Elite Roads Supercar for wet weather tyres but would need one final stop to make it to the end of the race.
With 16 laps remaining, Percat and Waters were in a battle pack and with the spray making visibility difficult, they made contact at turn 3 which sent Nick down the order from 6th to 10th. To add insult to injury, Nick received a 15 second penalty for the clash.
On Nick’s final stop for fuel, disaster struck. An issue with the fuelling tower/hose (to be further investigated) saw the Elite Roads pit bay light up in flames. The crews worked incredibly quickly to extinguish the fire and everyone, including Nick was ok. We cannot thank the speedy efforts of other teams and track officials for helping contain the issue in only a matter of seconds. After the seriously wild events of today, Nick finished 19th.
“We made a really good charge early on in todays’ race and were sitting comfortably inside the top ten. At one point with all the drama and action, I thought we could be fighting for a podium in the Elite Roads Supercar; then our battle with Cam turned for the worse when the contact resulted in me down well the order.”
“Our final pit stop was where our real drama happened. I saw when I dropped to leave the pits there was a fire, but I didn’t think there was any fire on or around the car. I could feel it initally, and when I stopped at the end of pit lane and saw smoke I knew I had to get out as quickly as I could. I didn’t know the extent of everything until I got back into the pits and seen all the footage.”
“I’m thankful that all the guys are ok and that everyone was so quick to respond. I was at the end of pit lane so I had the T8 and DJRTP guys rushing to my car to help, and the Walkinshaw guys were assisting back at the Elite Road pits.”
“We’ve made the highlights reel but not in the way we wanted. I think we had a good chance to fight for a podium there, but like a lot of others in pit lane today, things just went wrong. The teams from Elite Roads, Connected Recruitment and Timken joined us trackside this weekend, and we can’t thank them enough for their support.”
1 – Scott McLaughlin - 2168
2 – Fabian Coulthard - 1876
3 – Shane Van Gisbergen - 1669
4 – Chaz Mostert - 1640
5 – David Reynolds – 1634
8 – Nick Percat - 1321
Round Nine of the Virgin Australia Supercar Championship
Century Batteries Ipswich SuperSprint
26-28 July 2019
Published: 07 July 2019.