A word from Nick Percat: Clipsal 500 Preview
29 February 2012
(insert: Nick Percat & Garth Tander, Champions of Bathurst 2011).
The 2012 V8 Supercar season kicks off this weekend with Adelaide’s Clipsal 500 and it’s an event that’s definitely one of my favourites of the year! Even though I now live in Melbourne, I’m a South Aussie born and bred so I count this as my ‘home’ race.
It was at this event last year where the relationship with Coates Hire and Walkinshaw Racing began, and I qualified the new-look #222 Coates Hire Commodore on pole position and took the round win.
Here we are, a year on, with a bright new Coates Hire livery and ready to take on the 2012 Dunlop Series championship!
It feels like the off-season has gone on forever, but looking back I’ve kept pretty busy since the last event in December. Apart from one week over Christmas, I’ve been training regularly with my Walkinshaw Racing stablemate Garth Tander in order to be as fit as possible for the rigours of racing. There’s no substitute for miles in the racecar to be ‘race fit’, so instead we focus a lot on strength and endurance training, alternating cycling, running and core strength exercise sessions throughout the week.
I’ve also spent a lot of time at the team workshop getting to know my new engineer Matt Crawford. He’s been with Walkinshaw Racing for many years and has engineered everyone from Todd Kelly to Mark Skaife, so he brings plenty of experience to the Coates Hire team!
Steve Hallam has also joined the Walkinshaw Racing family as managing director. Steve has worked in NASCAR and Formula 1, and I love chatting to him about the old Formula 1 days working with Ayrton Senna – one of my racing heroes.
This week in the lead up to the first event, we took the racecar to the Albert Park branch in Adelaide. It was a great morning and everyone was keen to get a close look at my #222 Coates Hire car!
I’m grateful for all the support and well wishes and I hope I can kick start this year’s championship with another round win in Adelaide. I’d love nothing more than to get my first race win in the Dunlop Series, and the first for Coates Hire Racing, in front of my family and friends, and of course all the Coates Hire supporters!
You can follow my progress across the event on twitter: twitter.com/NickPercat and facebook: facebook.com/nickpercatpage