WILD WEATHER IN SYDNEY NRMA 500
8 December 2014
A massive storm created havoc for a second day at the Sydney NRMA 500 at the Homebush street circuit, forcing the final race of the 2014 V8 Supercars Championship to be abandoned, with Coates Hire Racing’s Nick Percat finishing both the race and his maiden championship in 11th place.
The 74-lap race started in wet conditions but a drying track saw virtually all drivers switching to slicks on lap seven with Percat pitting from seventh place and resuming fifteenth. By lap 10 Percat had moved up to 11th with Holden trio Shane van Gisbergen, Garth Tander and James Courtney leading from Chaz Mostert (Ford), 2014 champion Jamie Whincup, (Holden) and Rick Kelly (Nissan) completing the top six.
The order remained static with all eyes looking skyward as the storm loomed large on the horizon. It hit the former Olympic village with a vengeance at half race distance with drivers racing into the pits for fuel and wet weather tyres.
The safety car was quickly scrambled and with track conditions undriveable the race was suspended on lap 45 and shortly after declared over, as storms and heavy rain continued to lash the circuit.
Shane van Gisbergen emerged victorious from Holden Racing Team duo Garth Tander and James Courtney. Rounding out the top ten were Whincup, reigning Bathurst champ Mostert, Tim Slade (Holden), Kelly, Scott McLaughlin (Volvo), Jason Bright, (Holden), and Will Davison (Mercedes) with Percat recording another strong race to finish 11th and also secure 11th in his stellar debut V8 Supercar season.
Nick Percat: “It’s a real shame we couldn’t complete the full race distance, but it was the right call to stop, as it was way too dangerous out there.
“It has been an amazing year and I really want to thank Alex and Ty and all the boys who worked so hard on my team. I’d also like to thanks James Rosenberg, Ryan Walkinshaw, Adrian Burgess, Coates Hire, who have been my wonderful long-term supporters and all our other sponsors”.