MFL Sports Ambassador Nick Percat Sandown 500 Preview
The Supercar ‘Season of Endurance’ kicks off this weekend with the Wilson Security Sandown 500 in Victoria, and I’ll be racking up my sixth start in the pre-Bathurst 1000 enduro.
Macauley Jones joins me as my new co-driver for the Pirtek Enduro Cup. Although he’s young, he’s extremely fast and it will actually be his third year as an endurance driver. I’m confident that together we can be one of the front-running contenders.
Car 8 has a new livery this weekend that fits in with the retro theme of the event. Mongrel Boots are the major backer, and the livery is a tribute to two-time Australian Touring Car Champion Norm Beechey’s 1967 Trident-backed Chevrolet Nova.
The Victorian weather didn’t allow us to do our usual pre-endurance season test at Winton, so it does feel a bit strange not having had a proper chance to practice driver changes and pit stops. We can still do that at the track once we set up on Thursday, and Macauley will get plenty of seat time with two dedicated co-driver practice sessions on Friday.
I view Sandown as one of my bogey tracks. I’ve been fast there but I feel like I’ve never achieved a credible result there. My best finish in the Sandown 500 came in 2012 when I finished fourth with Garth Tander at Holden Racing Team.
Having said that, I do enjoy racing at this old-school style circuit, not only because it’s close to home! It’s fairly unforgiving because of the nature of the track. There’s basically four corners on each side separated by a dragstrip and the run down the front straight. There’s not many corners to make up a lot of time, so car set up here is crucial.
Since Sydney Motorsport Park I raced at the final round of the Australian Karting Championships in Melbourne. I came from 17th on the grid and finished fourth, which funnily enough is my career-best result in a national go-karting race! It’s actually better than what I achieved when I was a young kid racing go-karts full time. It was a really enjoyable weekend.
For now though, the go-karting is on hold as I focus on the next three big events on our calendar.
Remember you can follow me on social media for updates across the event.
Instagram - @nickpercat