Coates Hire Racing’s Nick Percat and Oliver Gavin will start 12th in the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1,000 this Sunday.
Percat, the 2011 winner and Gavin, who is making his Bathurst V8 Supercar debut, spent the early practice sessions fine-tuning the HHA Racing V8 Supercar prior to qualifying.
The all-important 40-minute qualifying session saw high drama with two of the fancied runners crashing out. The 40-minute session was halted midway after David Reynolds (Ford) crashed spectacularly after running wide at the top of the hill, severely damaging his car, fortunately without injury. Within minutes of the session recommencing, championship leader Jamie Whincup (Holden) ploughed into the wall heading up the mountain, stopping the session once again. Like Reynolds, Whincup was uninjured.
Percat and Gavin enjoyed a strong qualifying run and looked set for a top 10 start only to be bumped with moments remaining and eventually qualify 12th.
Fastest qualifier was Fabian Coulthard (Holden) who set a new V8 Supercar track record of 2min 5.608sec followed by fellow Kiwi Shane van Gisbergen (Holden).
Third quickest was Dale Wood (Holden), from last year’s winner Mark Winterbottom (Falcon), Scott McLaughlin (Volvo), Jason Bright (Holden), Jack Perkins (Falcon) in his best performance so far this year, James Moffat (Nissan), Garth Tander (Holden) and slipping into the top ten with seconds to spare, Craig Lowndes, (Holden).
Nick Percat: “Although I am disappointed not to be in the top ten after being there right up to the last moments of qualifying, I am pleased with the way today went and how well Oliver is going. I think we have a strong package for the race and am looking forward to Sunday”
Oliver Gavin: “With each lap I am getting more and more comfortable in the car and enjoying the challenges of Mount Panorama. We have a strong team and a good car set up for the race and I can’t wait to get started”.