MFL Sports Ambassador Nick Percat Bathurst 1000 Preview
We are now into the most exciting race week of the year, in the lead up to the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000. I know it’s an old cliché but this event really is like our grand final.
Logistically it’s the biggest event for us because we’re in town from Tuesday doing appearances and sponsor commitments and on track from Thursday. It’s a long week, and there’s no doubt you’re mentally exhausted after it all.
I try to make sure I’m well rested in the lead up to Bathurst. There’s a lot of extra appearances and you’re meeting so many new people at functions and autograph sessions, it’s tiring before you even get in the car!
The race itself has been kind to me. I won with Garth Tander in 2011 and have had four top 4 finishes in my six starts. Hopefully this year can be another good one for me.
It’s pretty special to be able to drive a BJR car, it’s a race that's very close to Brad and Kim Jones. The BJR cars were fast there last year. I think Slade made it into the Shootout so that’s encouraging for this year.
We’re back running on the 2016 spec tyre, so it will be interesting to see how all the teams who have developed their cars for the new tyre will fare going back to its predecessor. For us, I think we’ll be bolting in the set-up we ran last year and tuning the car from there.
For me personally it’s all been smooth sailing heading into Bathurst. I went to the AFL grand final but unfortunately the Adelaide Crows didn’t get up. It was still an amazing sporting experience though.
There’s another new livery for Car 8 at Bathurst, with Boost Mobile coming on board as the major sponsor. They’ll have two cars on the grid, with mine and James Courtney’s #22.
My co-driver Macauley Jones will also be racing in the Dunlop Super2 race at Bathurst, which is great for him to get extra laps around the mountain. He was fast there last year, so hopefully we can make it all come together at the right time.
I’d love to make the Top Ten Shootout. Even though I’ve had some solid race results, I’ve never made a shootout at Bathurst, my best qualifying has been 11th. Obviously qualifying isn’t the be all and end all, but making the shootout is my aim.
To have the track to myself for that one flying lap would be pretty special.
I have photos of me and dad when I was about 5 years old, sitting at McPhillamy watching the race. Even though I’ve had several starts in the Bathurst 1000, it’s still such a cool feeling to be driving in it. I still have to pinch myself that I’m fortunate enough to get to compete in one of the greatest races in the world!
Remember you can follow me on social media for updates across the event.
Instagram - @nickpercat