After 100 laps in hot and humid conditions, Coates Hire Racing duo Nick Percat and Oliver Gavin finished the second race of the Castrol Edge Gold Coast 600, a solid 10th.
After Percat secured the 16th grid spot in the 25-car V8 Supercars field, Oliver Gavin started the race.
Unlike yesterday, the field got away to a clean start and it wasn’t until lap 18 when the first incident occurred when Craig Baird (Mercedes) was nudged by Robert Dahlgren (Volvo) sending Baird into the wall, who was eventually able to get the car back to the pits. Gavin was running 13th before pitting on lap 19 for fuel and tyres and continued in 22nd.
At this stage, it was Paul Dumbrell (Holden) leading from Alex Premat (Volvo) and yesterday’s winner Jono Webb (Holden).
On lap 34, many teams took their first pit stop replacing their co-drivers with the regular championship drivers.
The safety car made its first appearance on lap 40 when Dale Wood (Holden) stopped on the track. At this stage the top three were Jamie Whincup (Holden), from Shane van Gisbergen and Scott McLaughlin (Volvo). HHA Racing took the opportunity to pit Gavin under the safety car and hand over to Percat, who sat in 20th when racing resumed on lap 43.
At mid race the top ten were Whincup, McLaughlin, Garth Tander (Holden), David Reynolds (Ford), Craig Lowndes (Holden), Nissan teammates James Moffat and Michael Caruso, Will Davison (Mercedes) and Holden pair Fabian Coulthard and Tim Slade, with Percat storming through the field to15th.
A second safety car appeared on lap 60 to clear debris off the track. Most drivers, including Percat, who was 16th, took the opportunity to pit for tyres and fuel.
Racing got underway on lap 63 with Whincup leading from, McLaughlin, Reynolds, Caruso, Tander and Slade completing the top sixth. Percat was 12th.
Four laps later and the safety car was out again after James Moffat (Nissan) ploughed into the wall, partially blocking the track and heavily damaging his car, but not himself.
It was then a 30-lap sprint to the flag when racing resumed on lap 71, with no fuel or tyre concerns to worry about.
Victory eventually went to Jamie Whincup from McLaughlin and Michael Caruso (Nissan) in third. Tim Slade was next from yesterday’s winner Shane van Gisbergen, David Reynolds, Fabian Coulthard, veteran Russell Ingall, Rick Kelly (Nissan) and Percat.
Nick Percat: “It’s great to get a top ten finish today, especially after we dropped down to 22nd as we anticipated a safety car for Bairdo (Craig Baird’s crashed Mercedes) and pitted for the first time but like others, got caught out.
“Once again Ollie (Oliver Gavin) did a great job all day and the team did an awesome job to regroup and set us on a path that was rewarded with tenth”.
Oliver Gavin: “In my stint today there was nowhere near the argy-bargy of yesterday and we were able to just concentrate on our racing. I enjoyed several good dices and moved forward a number of places before handing over to Nick who drove brilliantly and got us into tenth. I also want to thank everyone at Walkinshaw Racing for making me so welcome and I hope I can come back next year and join Nick once again”.
Championship points after Race 32
Race 32 Top Ten
1 Red Bull Racing Australia J.Whincup/P.Dumbrell
2 Valvoline Racing GRM S.McLaughlin/A.Premat
3 Norton Hornets M.Caruso/D.Fiore
4 Supercheap Auto Racing T.Slade/T.D'Alberto
5 Team Tekno VIP Petfoods S.Van Gisbergen/J.Webb
6 The Bottle-O Racing Team D.Reynolds/D.Canto
7 Lockwood Racing F.Coulthard/L.Youlden
8 Repair Management Aust Racing R.Ingall/T.Blanchard
9 Jack Daniel's Racing R.Kelly/D.Russell
10 Walkinshaw Racing N.Percat/O.Gavin
1 Jamie Whincup 2835
2 Mark Winterbottom 2433
3 Shane Van Gisbergen 2357
4 Craig Lowndes 2331
5 Fabian Coulthard 2192
6 Chaz Mostert 2147
7 James Courtney 2135
8 Scott McLaughlin 2019
9 Garth Tander 1806
10 Michael Caruso 1688
11 Will Davison 1626
12 Nick Percat 1620