The unexpected Supercars bromance
That’s Percat’s take, anyway, following their first round working together as Walkinshaw Andretti United teammates in Sydney recently.
Percat rocked the silly season last year when he made a sensational defection from the team leader role at Brad Jones Racing to partner the very highly-rated Mostert at WAU.
How the dynamic between the pair would work was a hot topic over the off-season.
Mostert is well embedded in the team and joined as a clear team leader back in 2020. Percat, meanwhile, is well known for his competitive streak and hasn’t had to consider life as a number two in a long time.
There is also a bit of history between the pair going right back to the ultra-competitive 2012 Super2 season when they were fierce rivals.
But while there’s plenty to play out between the pair in 2022, particularly if WAU is indeed a title-contending pair, the new teammates are currently enjoying a honeymoon period of sorts.
According to Percat they have quickly built a strong friendship and solid working relationship, something that has disappointed the critics – and surprised even those within the team.
“To everyone’s disappointment, we have a lot in common,” Percat told Motorsport.com.
“The off-track stuff has been really fun. I’m learning a lot from him and [engineer] Adam [Deborre] already.
“They’ve been such an open book and so welcoming. It’s been quite nice to go into the team and have that straight away.
“[Team principal] Bruce [Stewart] and [co-owner] Ryan [Walkinshaw] and everyone are like, ‘what the hell, these two are inseparable’.
“It’s very early days but it’s the best relationship I’ve on and off the track with a teammate ever. I pick up the phone and send him a message or just ring him to see what he’s up to, nothing to do with motorsport.
“All of the chat, or people I had telling me things about him – and he probably had the same thing going his way – we all got to the end of it and I went, ‘wow, this guy is actually very similar to me and just wants to do racing and win races and have some fun doing it’. It’s been pretty cool.”
The true test of their relationship is likely to come once Percat is up to speed with the Walkinshaw hardware and fighting more consistently for the same bit of race track as Mostert.
Percat is happy to concede that a shift in the dynamic is possible.
“Obviously the moment it becomes more competitive it will be interesting,” he said. “I honestly don’t know what will happen there.
“We’re already seeing each others’ data and stuff like that. Even from his side, going home on the Friday night [in Sydney] he had a few overlays up and he was like, ‘alright, this is good. If we can combine our two laps we’ll be bloody fast’. He was actually able to do that.
“We’ll see what happens when it gets to it. If we’re both battling for the win it could change a little bit.”
Percat fully expects wins to be up for grabs this year and says even after contact took him out Sunday’s race in Sydney he felt calm knowing more opportunities will come his way.
“I wasn’t the Nick that people would have expected,” he said. “I wasn’t angry or pissed off.
“The car is a bit of a jet, these days are going to be, hopefully, more often than not.
“I used to feel like if something didn’t go our way at BJR and it was a track that we traditionally went well [at], it felt like that was our day to get it done, and I’d be pissed. Because they weren’t coming along as often.
“Even when I got out [of the car in Sydney], it was frustrating and annoying, but it does feel like there will be more days that I can fight for a trophy than I’ve been used to.”