Coates Hire Racing’s Nick Percat will co-drive with Shane Smollen in round three of the 2014 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia at Phillip Island on May 23rd – 25th.
This round features a unique two-driver Pro/Am format introduced at the Porsche Rennsport event last year and proved highly popular with the drivers, teams and fans.
There are two one-hour races where each regular Elite (Am) class driver is paired with a Pro class driver, and vice versa. Both drivers must qualify with their starting position for race one determined by the combination of both drivers’ best lap time.
Either driver can start the first race, which has a compulsory pit stop for a driver change, but whichever driver finishes race one must start race two.
This format produced exciting and entertaining racing and last year Percat was victorious in race one behind the wheel of the Coates Hire Porsche.
After finishing the 2013 championship third in the Elite class, Smollen’s strong form has continued, securing the elite class ‘pole position’ at the first two rounds of 2014, the Clipsal 500 and the Australian Grand Prix.
Percat made his debut in the Porsche Carrera Cup last year and his impressive season included five pole positions, five race wins, one round win and the runners up spot in the championship behind Craig Baird, who secured a world record-equalling fifth championship.
This year Percat is competing in the V8 Supercars Championship and finished seventh outright in the last round at Pukekohe in New Zealand.
Nick Percat: “I was pleased to be offered the drive by Shane and am really looking forward to racing the new generation Porsche Carrera Cup car.
“I really enjoyed my time last year in the Porsche Cup and now having driven it, the new model Porsche is very enjoyable to drive but quite different from the old model.
“One thing remains and that is you have to push really hard to get the best out of it”.
Shane Smollen: “I am delighted that Nick has joined us for the race at Phillip Island this year. He was outstanding in last year’s Carrera Cup and I am looking forward to sharing the driver’s seat with him and I think his input into setting up the car and how he goes about a race weekend will be invaluable to my team and myself.
“Our test at Phillip Island was conducted in a variety of different weather conditions from pouring rain to sunbursts and a dry track. We worked though all them and it has been a very positive day for us”.