Quick youngster Nick Percat has set the pace in Porsche Carrera Cup Australia’s sole Friday practice session of Round 5 at Winton Motor Raceway, while Victorian racer Stephen Grove was the quickest Elite Class competitor.
Percat’s best time of the session was 1:24.7218, set on a drying Winton track in the 20-minute afternoon session and placing him ahead of rivals Steven Richards, Craig Baird, Warren Luff, Shae Davies, Michael Patrizi and Duvashen Padayachee with the seventh quickest practice time.
Following Percat’s troublesome previous round in Townsville, where he failed to finish the final race, the South Australian is eager to bounce back at Winton.
“It was great to show some initial pace today at Winton after the disappointment of Race 3 at Townsville. Hopefully now we can bounce back and get some strong results this weekend,” said Percat.
“This is the first track this year that I have been to before in the Porsche as we’ve tested here on occasion. Therefore I haven’t had to learn the track. It certainly gives me more direction and knowledge of what to do with the car throughout the tyre life.”
Eighth quickest in practice and fastest Elite Class driver was Stephen Grove, who was pleased with his early pace and is hopeful to continue his strong form into the weekend.
“It was great to go out and set a good time. I’ve raced twice at Winton before, and had quite a few test days here. It’s certainly a track that I like and a track that suits my driving - I like the slow sweeping corners.
“My goal will be to get into the top three of the Elite Class this weekend. You’ve got to be on your game in qualifying though, as it’s going to be very hard to pass.”
Following Grove in the practice order was Damien Flack, Max Twigg, Shane Smollen and Adam Gowans in 12th. Young gun Richard Muscat was 13th from Michael Loccisano, Martin Wagg, Tony Bates, Marc Cini, Rusty French, Tony Walls, James Bergmuller, Paul Kelly and Renee Gracie.