In a 14-lap race that featured plenty of hand-to-hand combat, Matt Stone Racing’s Percat held off a double dose of Red Bull opposition, with Will Brown taking second place ahead of Broc Feeney.

The telling moment of the race came on lap 4, when second-placed Chaz Mostert (WAU Ford Mustang) was looking to challenge Matt Payne for the lead. Mostert locked a brake at Turn 10 and nerfed the rear of the Grove Racing Ford, sending both cars off the road and gifting the lead to a surprised Percat. Payne recovered in third place and for his sins, Mostert had to carry on with a five-second time penalty.

Then Payne was in the wars again, sent into a spin at Turn 1 by Bryce Fullwood (Brad Jones Racing Chevrolet), dropping the Ford to 22nd place. He went on to finish 14th.

Feeney bid his time, closed onto the back of Percat and picked his way past on lap 8 – only for Percat to fend him off and, at the same time, open the door for Brown. He was quickly onto the rear of Percat but there were no mistakes from the leader and he held on to win by 0.38sec.

“I am kind of speechless,” said an emotional Percat, whose last win came at Sydney Motorsport Park in the Covid-plagued 2020 season.

“Everyone backed me so hard. I wanted to quit and now, Round 2, we have won a race. The last 18 months, I hated every second with that mob. As soon as I walked into Matt Stone Racing, I knew this was where I wanted to be.”

Brown’s first round win with Triple Eight awards him the Larry Perkins Trophy, named after the legendary six-time Bathurst 1000 winner – and Brown’s regular endurance co-driver has been Jack Perkins.

“It was so close between me and Broc. I would have liked to have got Nick, I made a mistake out of Turn 1 and cooked them [the tyres].”

Said Feeney, “[I am] pumped for Nick, he is a great bloke and he deserves that. I am gutted with the third, I had a crack but I didn’t execute it. Any kids watching, make sure you hit the brakes in the middle of a corner!”

Mostert finished fourth on the road but the time penalty dropped him to fifth behind Thomas Randle (Tickford Ford). Dick Johnson Racing’s Will Davison was sixth ahead of Cam Waters (Tickford), Richie Stanaway (Grove) and David Reynolds (Team18 Chevrolet).

Second place means that Brown leads the championship pointscore on 575, from Feeney on 558 and Mostert on 478. Percat’s win lifts him to fourth on 405, ahead of Reynolds (358).

The next round of the race will be at a new venue to Supercars, Taupō Motorsport Park in New Zealand, on 20-21 April.

Race results:

Cla No. driver Car/Engine Laps delay
1 10 Nick Percat Chevrolet 14
2 87 William Brown Chevrolet 14 0.3810
3 88 Broc Feeney Chevrolet 14 0.9944
4 55 Tom Randle ford 14 9.9320
5 25 Chaz Mostert ford 14 10.0349
6 17 Will Davison ford 14 14.4397
7 6 Cameron Waters ford 14 16.2138
8 26 Richie Stanaway ford 14 17.0547
9 twenty David Reynolds Chevrolet 14 17.5480
10 23 Tim Slade Chevrolet 14 17.9223
eleven 31 James Golding Chevrolet 14 19.4039
12 3 Aaron Love ford 14 22.4735
13 18 M. Winterbottom Chevrolet 14 23.2947
14 19 Matthew Payne ford 14 23.5688
fifteen 99 Todd Hazelwood Chevrolet 14 27.8397
16 7 James Courtney ford 14 29.2972
17 8 A. Heimgartner Chevrolet 14 30.6780
18 12 Jaxon Evans Chevrolet 14 31.0113
19 96 Macauley Jones Chevrolet 14 32.3274
twenty 14 Bryce Fullwood Chevrolet 14 35.2442
twenty-one 2 Ryan Wood ford 14 48.9565
4 Cameron Hill Chevrolet 13
9 Jack Le Brocq Chevrolet 0
eleven A. De Pasquale ford 0


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