Round 3 of the 2024 Supercars Championship roared back to New Zealand this weekend, with Taupō playing host to the round and providing a fresh challenge for teams and drivers. The Matt Stone Racing entry of Nick Percat entered with a wave of momentum following victory at the previous round.

Hitting the track for the first time on Friday for the sole, 90-minute practice session, drivers and teams were forced to make quick decisions with limited track time, as no previous setup data was available to rely upon.

The #10 Bendix Racing Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 finished Friday’s session in 10th place, laying the foundations for what looked like a positive weekend in New Zealand.

As Saturday arrived, a costly error on his flying lap during qualifying had Percat line up for the afternoon’s Race in 24th position, which would prove to be a tumultuous 60 laps as the skies opened. 

Percat would survive the wet and wild encounter in one piece, finishing the race in 19th position.

New opportunities arrived with the sun rising the following day, with the Taupō circuit providing a fresh challenge as dry conditions emerged. Unfortunately, another difficult qualifying session was on the cards for the #10, which meant he would have to claw his way through the field in the final race of the event.

Fortunately, the #10 would demonstrate his prowess by making moves throughout the encounter, and capture valuable championship points by climbing eight positions and finishing in P16.

Following what was a difficult round in New Zealand, Percat holds down sixth place in the 2024 season standings, as the championship heads to Western Australia for Round 4 of this year’s championship.

Nick Percat: “Probably one that got away a little bit. Car was fast in Sunday’s race; too many driver errors in qualifying cost us a decent shot at it. Thankfully the car has come back straight again. We’ll re-group and get ready for Perth. It was an awesome fight out there, we went from 24th to 16th (on Sunday) with some big battles along the way. Probably just a little bit tough around here to get momentum in the race from the back, especially with the tyre life and bits and pieces like that. I had an epic race with Davison and Frosty pretty much from start to finish — all three of us probably wish we were further up. Looking forward to going to Perth soon and getting the Bendix Racing car back up the front.”