Hometown Holden hero Nick Percat’s took a shock victory at the Clipsal 500 in a race in which rain brought confusion and opportunities for every driver to step up on to the podium.
A key to Percat’s victory in Adelaide was a race twice drowned in heavy rain was his engineer Chris Stuckey’s call to get the minimum mandatory 140 litre fuel dump completed as quickly as possible.
That ensured he could sprint to the line without having to pit for fuel when the race re-started for a final four-lap dash.
He managed to grab the victory despite his windscreen wiper failing early in the race and then battling conditions that swing from atrocious to dry and then to torrential.
“When it was just a flood of water coming down the windscreen I nearly crashed into the wall on the inside of the corner because I couldn’t see where the apex was.
“Even in the dry going out on the slicks was pretty challenging, but as soon as it started to get wet again it was a bit of an unknown.
Highest Kiwi finisher was Shane van Gisbergen in 10th followed by Scott McLaughlin in 12th, pole sitter Fabian Coulthard 16th and Andre Heimgartner in 19th.
“The start was good, we ended up driving to the lead,” commented van Gisbergen. “When we put the slicks on we dropped back a bit but in the end I am not too sure what ended up happening.
“I finished up 10th but all the strategies and full drops are hard to work out so I’m not too sure how it all finished the way it did. It could have been much better.”
Michael Caruso (Nissan) leads the championship fifteen points ahead of Whincup with Garth Tander third and van Gisbergen fourth.