FROM the moment he stood on the top tier of the podium in his Bathurst 1000 debut, Mount Panorama became a special place for Nick Percat.
In winning the 2011 race alongside Garth Tander, he became the first Bathurst rookie to do so since Jacky Ickx in 1977.
Since then the good results at Bathurst have continued to come, with a fourth sharing Tander’s seat in 2013 and a pair of third placings as a lead driver.
They came with smaller teams in 2014 for James Rosenberg Racing and last year as a driver for Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport.
Now Percat is back with a larger team, Brad Jones Racing, and is hoping they can help him to yet another Bathurst 1000 podium.
“For me and the team at BJR it’s exciting, they’ve got a good history in the endurance season and traditionally have a fast car at Bathurst,” Percat said.
“So I’m looking forward to getting up there and seeing what it’s like and hopefully adding another podium to my name to the few I’ve had up there.”
Percat, who will share his Holden Commodore VF at Bathurst with Macauley Jones, has already earned a podium for his new team when third in Darwin.
He would love to add another.
At Sandown, Percat ran 22nd as bad vibrations in the front left of his Commodore, which forced him to spend a long time in the pits, hampered his race.
It means he and Jones were rated $41 outsiders heading to Bathurst, but Percat knows favouritism means little at Mount Panorama.
Last year few expected him and Cameron McConville to place third.
“They probably didn’t expect it because I was driving for a lower level team, but it was my third podium there in five years,” he said.
“We were fast that whole day and were in the race at the end there which is good. I always enjoy Bathurst, everyone does, and hopefully I can have another good run up there.
“It's a long race at Bathurst, you’ve got to be in the right place at the right time and avoid a bit of carnage during the day.
“Hopefully I can put myself in a good spot and get to go home happy.”