After a long eight weeks since our last Dunlop Series round, it’s probably a bit of an understatement to say I’m pretty keen to suit up and race the #222 Coates Hire Commodore this weekend..
I’m heading to North Queensland for the third round of the Dunlop Series, as part of the Sucrogen Townsville 400. It’s going to be great to leave the Melbourne winter behind for a few days and even better to go racing again!
We picked up our first Dunlop Series race win last time out in Perth but that was almost two months ago now. Nevertheless, I’m confident we can keep making gains in Townsville. We qualified on the front row there last year, so I’d like to think we can match that again.
Generally our car has been really strong through the first half of the circuit but it’s the last part of each lap that we need to work on, and that will definitely be the first thing we’ll address during Friday’s practice.
Most of Townsville’s Reid Park circuit is specially constructed road, but it still has that ‘street circuit’ feel that I like and seem to go well at.
I think it’s a harder track to pass on than Perth’s Barbagallo Raceway - there are maybe only three real passing opportunities - but I’m looking forward to the challenge. And to be honest at this point I’m happy just to be racing again.
Friday is looking like it will be a pretty busy day for me! I have two 40-minute Dunlop Series practice sessions and I’ll also be driving Garth Tander’s #2 Toll Holden Racing Team Commodore in the first two co-drivers practice sessions.
This follows on from the two co-driver sessions I completed in the #2 HRT car in Darwin and Phillip Island. I’ve been pleased with my pace, and most importantly I started to feel comfortable in the car I’ll share with GT in the enduros.
With the Sandown 500 just over two months away, Garth and I have really been ramping up our training and preparation. You know it’s winter in Melbourne when you get ice on your beanie during your morning run!
I’ve also been working for my old Formula Ford team that I won the 2009 championship with, Sonic Motor Racing. I’ve been helping out in the workshop and mentoring their next generation of Formula Ford drivers, which has given me a valuable perspective from the mechanic side of things.
Like Perth, there will be a huge presence from Coates Hire at the Townsville event and I really want to put on a good show for them. I’m also pretty excited to take the CEO of Coates Hire Leigh Ainsworth for a hot lap on Friday!
With five rounds to go, my aim for this weekend in Townsville is to get back in the championship hunt and set the Coates Hire team up for a big run in the back half of the season.
Don’t forget, you can follow my progress across the event through twitter: twitter.com/NickPercat
and my facebook page : facebook.com/nickpercatpage