Coates Hire Racing’s Nick Percat and co-driver Oliver Gavin had a constructive opening day at the Wilson Security Sandown 500.
In the opening session for the regular V8 Supercars championship drivers, Percat worked through a number of minor tweaks to the HHA Racing V8 Supercar, completing 12 laps to end the 40-minute session tenth quickest. Fastest was Jamie Whincup who bumped Garth Tander and James Courtney from the top of the timesheet in the final minutes. Rounding out the top six were Scott McLaughlin, Lee Holdsworth and Jason Bright.
The second session was for the co-drivers and Oliver Gavin’s first taste of the suburban Melbourne circuit. He spent this first session acclimatising himself to the car and circuit and finished 17th quickest in the 25-car field, just 0.6sec behind pace setter Alex Premat. Second fastest was Paul Dumbrell from Tony D’Alberto, Alex Davison and Chris Pither.
The third and final 40-minute session was another exclusively for co-drivers and saw Oliver Gavin back behind the wheel and improve his first session result stopping the clocks 14th fastest.
Once again, it was Alex Premat who proved to be quickest, followed by Paul Dumbrell, Jonathon Webb Greg Ritter Taz Douglas and Warren Luff in sixth.
Nick Percat: “I did 15 laps this morning in my only session today and it felt pretty good. Oliver (Gavin) did a great job today and learnt the track very quickly. He felt comfortable in the car and it was a solid first outing for him at Sandown today”.
Oliver Gavin: “I’ve learnt a lot about getting a V8 Supercar around this track today. There are some challenging spots to get the most out of the car which I’m still working my way through. I’m going over the data with the engineers to see where improvements can be made; but it’s been a constructive day and we have another big one tomorrow with plenty to play for”.