A DAY OF SIXES AND SEVENS FOR PERCAT AT PUKEKOHE
Coates Hire Racing driver Nick Percat had a day of sixes and sevens at Pukekohe Raceway, with a pair of sixth place qualifying results followed by a pair of seventh place finishes in races 11 and 12 of the 2014 V8 Supercars Championship.
Pole position for race 11 belonged to James Courtney (Holden) from Mark Winterbottom (Falcon), Scott McLaughlin (Volvo), Chaz Mostert (Falcon) and Jamie Whincup (Holden) with Percat rounding out the top six. At the end of the session McLaughlin was penalised two grid spots for blocking Jamie Whincup and had to start fifth alongside the HHA Racing Commodore of Percat.
The qualifying session for race 12 saw Percat undertake just a single run which was good enough for the sixth grid spot. McLaughlin made amends for his previous indiscretion and grabbed pole from Whincup, Winertbottom and Holden trio Shane van Gisbergen, Garth Tander and Percat.
Race 11 - Percat got an excellent start and settled into fifth until the halfway mark when he was passed by van Gisbergen and David Reynolds (Falcon) and dropped to seventh where he finished.
Mark Winterbottom got the jump off the line to lead the field and was never headed. Fellow front row starter and pole position holder Courtney finished second while Winterbottom’s teammate Chaz Mostert completed the podium. Rounding out the top seven were Whincup, van Gisbergen, McLaughlin and Percat.
Race 12 – Percat got another good start from sixth on the grid but Reynolds snuck past on the opening lap relegating Percat to seventh where he remained for the duration of the race, collecting more championship points in another impressive performance.
Starting fourth, New Zealander Shane van Gisbergen added his name to the 2014 V8 Supercars Championship winner’s list on a day where Mark Winterbottom took the series lead.
Van Gisbergen overtook Winterbottom around the outside of Turn 4 on the opening lap then passed Whincup for second shortly after an early Safety Car restart and was then glued to the tail of his race leading countryman Scott McLaughlin, who he overtook on lap eight.
Missing out on his second win of the day was Mark Winterbottom who crossed the line just 0.3s adrift of van Gisbergen.
Rounding out the podium was another Kiwi, Scott McLaughlin followed by Whincup, Tander, Reynolds and Percat.
Nick Percat: “I am pleased we are able to qualify and race solidly in the top ten today and look forward to doing the same in tomorrow’s 200 kilometre race”.