MFL Sports Ambassador Nick Percat Clipsal 500 Preview
We finally get the 2017 Supercars season underway this week and I’ve got to say that going back to the Clipsal 500 as the defending champion is pretty cool!
It still feels surreal because I grew up in Adelaide watching the race and used to beg Dad to let me have the Friday off school so I could go the event (he usually gave in).
I honestly never thought I’d get to race in it, let alone WIN it.
The lead up to this year’s event has involved a lot of media appearances over the last three or four weeks, especially with Clipsal on board as my main sponsor this weekend. I’ve honestly been overwhelmed so far with the amount of support for me and my new team Brad Jones Racing.
The Clipsal 500 is definitely one of the best we go to in terms of atmosphere and local support. It’s going to be awesome to line up on the grid along with my BJR teammate and fellow South Aussie Sladedog this weekend. Not too bad for a couple of local battlers!
I had my first laps in the new #8 BJR Commodore at the official test day in Sydney last week. It all went pretty well, we had a minor issue towards the end of the day but that didn’t really affect our program that much. It just meant I missed out on the new tyre run when the whole field did a qualifying simulation.
It’s not the end of the world. Obviously it would have been good to get a run on the new tyre, but we’ll just have to save that for Friday practice!
Since then I’ve spent some time at BJR debriefing from the test day and planning for Clipsal. All the team is pretty pumped, full of energy and good to go for first round of the year.
The rest of my time has been spent training, and looking after Doug and Nelson. Two chocolate Labradors are a handful, let me tell you. Especially Nelson, who despite being told off for digging in the garden several times now continues to test my limits on a daily basis!
The hounds and I have road tripped back to Adelaide, so I can have a couple days off with the family before things kick into gear on Wednesday. Doug and Nelson will hang at mum and dads this week, swimming, carrying on and just generally living the dream.
I’m looking forward to seeing how the new tyre goes, it’s going to be the big unknown. It will definitely give us a different balance around Adelaide street circuit than the fast flowing corners of Sydney Motorsport Park.
The battle will be who gets on top of the tyre quickest. I think we’ll see a big difference by the time we get to Sunday’s race. Teams will be learning at different rates and some will be taking really big steps in the set up. Hopefully our team is one that gets on top of that quickly!
My goal for the Clipsal 500 is to finish in top ten. That probably doesn’t sound very ambitious, but with a new team, new car, new tyres etc. I just want to have a good first outing.
I’ll be happy with two consistently solid finishes over the weekend. That way I’ll have a good base to build off for the rest of the year in terms of what I get from the car and championship position.
Can't wait to get it started!
Remember you can follow me on social media for updates across the event.
Instagram - @nickpercat