Growing up in Adelaide, Nick Percat went to the Australian Grand Prix and the Clipsal 500 with his dad and dreamt about life on the other side of the fence.
While it’s not very far from Flagstaff Hill (where Percat grew up) to the Adelaide circuit, it’s been a long road for Percat to secure a full time V8 Supercars drive.
This weekend Percat will fulfill his boyhood dream when he lines up for Walkinshaw Racing, in the familiar Coates Hire colours, for his first tilt at the V8 Supercars Championship.
Percat has already shown his credentials with the Holden Racing Team, partnering Garth Tander to a memorable victory at the 2011 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1,000; a debut win for the 25 year old on the mountain.
Percat has completed many laps around the demanding street circuit competing in Formula Fords, Aussie Race Cars, the V8 Dunlop Series and last year in the Porsche Carrera Cup.
Coates Hire and Percat joined forces at the Clipsal meeting in 2011 resulting in pole position and a round win in the Dunlop Series.
The following year, again in the V8 Dunlop Series he topped the timesheets in both practice sessions and qualified third behind season long rivals Chaz Mostert and Scott McLaughlin. He then went on to finish third and second in the two races.
Last year Percat raced in the Porsche Carrera Cup and in his debut at the Clipsal meeting he qualified on pole, then finished third overall for the round against the likes of multiple champion Craig Baird and 2013 Bathurst champion, Steven Richards.
On seeing his 2014 V8 Supercar in its race livery for the first time Percat said, “It looks awesome; the Coates Hire orange and the chrome touches certainly make it stand out. It's like an evolution of the colour scheme from my 2011 Dunlop Series car”.
Looking toward the season opener Percat said, “This is the culmination of many years of hard work and to be driving in the full championship for Walkinshaw Racing is a dream come true.
“I am also thrilled to have Coates Hire continue their long association with me.
“There is no doubt this is the biggest challenge I’ve faced in my career and I can’t wait to get over to Adelaide and onto the track for the first time. To make my championship season debut on my home track is also something special. It’s a great track and a wonderful event with an amazing atmosphere”.