Supercars driver Nick Percat has announced he will field a full race team in next year’s Australian Kart Championship.
The former South Australian will take his current partnership with FA (Fernando Alonso) Kart to new levels thanks to a deal that includes a factory team and dealer rights in Victoria.
“I’ve always wanted to have a karting team, since I was 15 years old” Percat said. “That was always the plan for me and my dad if the driving side didn’t work out.”
Percat says he is in the middle of gearing up now so he can start testing potential drivers in December in preparation for the championship next year.
He plans to field up to 10 drivers across the junior classes, plus a group of senior drivers.
“I still want to have two or three good senior drivers who can help with the craft of karting, who are on top of their game and capable of winning the national championship. They can then offer support back to the cadets and juniors. That’s the dream and that’s the plan.”
Driver development will be a keen focus for the team with Percat looking to use his own experience as a professional driver, and his impressive network throughout professional motor racing, to help discover and nurture the next wave of talent.
That includes the potential for FA Kart drivers to take their first steps to transition to cars through the Formula Ford and Carrera Cup cars owned by the Percat family.
“I think I can offer a lot of advice to young drivers wanting to become a professional racing car driver” he added.
“I enjoy watching young drivers come through karting and seeing their first day in a Formula Ford. So there are different elements to why I’m doing this.
“The structure I have is that I can run a kart team, but I also own a very good Formula Ford that the right driver could use for their first test before they are passed on to a Formula Ford team like Sonic.
“Dad and I also own a Carrera Cup car which could give a young driver their first taste of a tin top. So there are a few elements to what I’m trying to do.”
As well as the AKC team, Percat will be the dealer for FA Karts in Victoria as well as having a spares truck in action to service drivers running FA Karts at club and regional events throughout the state.
“I’m geared up to do local events as well. I’ll be at club days and the Vic Country Series to support the FA brand. I’m kitting up a spare parts van to go to all the events and offer support to anyone running FA karts. So it will be more than just the FA AKC team, there will be the dealership as well. It’s a great brand to be associated with.”
“It’s not about coming and driving for me, me taking your money, and that’s it. It’s about me being able to help develop young drivers through what I know and the people I have around me, like the guys at Walkinshaw Andretti United and the fitness and nutrition work I do with Heath Meldrum.
“The driver who comes to drive for me gets access to all of that as well.
“I want 10 good young drivers that have the dream of trying to get to Supercars or IndyCar or whatever it is. The younger that starts the better, so I want to have a few kids in the cadet classes and then into juniors, as the early teenage years are massively important.”