Last year’s Supercheap Autos Bathurst 1000 podium pairing, Oliver Gavin and Nick Percat, saw their 2015 challenge come to nothing, after a rash move from Will Davison abruptly halted a fantastic charge from 21st to fifth on the legendary Mount Panorama circuit (10-11 October).
Gavin and Percat have reunited for a second consecutive attack on the Australian V8 Supercars PIRTEK Enduro Cup and the driver combination developed nicely through free practice and qualifying, the two cementing their bond and better understanding each other to a point where they were able to extract the best from their Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport (LDM) team and Holden VF Commodore racecar.
The package looked competitive for the 1000km race, as the #222 entry topped the timing screens in race trim during morning warm-up on Sunday (11 October) and the progress continued, as Percat brought the Hire A Hubby-liveried Holden through the field to 11th during a strong first stint.
Gavin ran competitively with the frontrunners in a double stint behind the wheel that saw the Englishman move up to fifth, and the position looked assured, when all chances of success were pulled from under him as a rash move from Davison put Gavin in the wall on lap 56.
Entering the Elbow at the top of ‘The Mountain’ – an atypical overtaking place – the Erebus Motorsport Mercedes-Benz driver stuck his nose up the inside of the LDM Holden and predictably collected Gavin’s rear, turning him around and backwards into the concrete wall.
While the contact was relatively light and Gavin was able to maneuver his car back into the race, a lengthy pit stop, in which the LDM crew worked efficiently to repair the damage, followed.
Percat brought the car back into the race two laps down with no chance of recovering the lost ground, despite running at the leaders’ pace for the remainder of the race in 19th.
“It’s a real shame,” said Gavin. “It was great to be back in Australia with Nick (Percat) and the V8 Supercars; we work very well together and the Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport team had put in a lot of effort to give us a great car for the race and I think we were showing that with our progress.
“I have had words with Will (Davison) and given him my thoughts on the move that ruined our race. It’s little consolation that the stewards agreed with my view of the incident, giving him a drive-through penalty, as we lost two laps and any chance of a result. I really enjoy working with Nick and the team and I’m looking forward to getting a result in Surfers Paradise in a couple of weeks.”
The third and final round of the Australian V8 Supercars PIRTEK Enduro Cup – the Castrol EDGE Gold Coast 600 – takes place on the streets of Surfers Paradise, Queensland (24-26 October).