NISSAN MOTORSPORTS

March 19, 2013

NISSAN MOTORSPORT AT THE 2013 AUSTRALIAN FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX

2013 V8 Supercars Championship Race Report

Albert Park street circuit, Australia (17th March,2013) - Nissan Motorsport has taken huge steps towards the front of the V8 Supercars field, scoring eight top 10 finishes across the four Albert Park races in the all-new Nissan Altima this weekend.

In just its second event in its return to top-level Australian motorsport, the Nissan Altimas proved to be a competitive race package across all four of its team cars, racing with and beating some of its more established V8 rivals.

Norton 360 Racing's James Moffat was the best placed Altima driver, finishing seventh overall. Moffat, the son of four-time Bathurst 1000 winner Allan, qualified down in 20th, but raced cleanly through the field in the opening race to finish seventh place. He improved on that in Race 2, taking fifth place the highest finishing place recorded in a V8 Supercars race by the new Altima.

Moffat was hampered in a wet Race 3 and slipped back to 17th before taking 10th in Race 4, securing him three top 10 finishes across the four races.

Jack Daniel's Racing's Rick Kelly was at his consistent best, finishing with two top 10 places, including an impressive sixth in the wet Race 3. He was classified eighth overall in the non-championship event.

Kelly's team-mate and older brother Todd took 11th overall, despite being excluded from Race 3 for a technical infringement. Todd also took two top 10 results and is encouraged by the progress Nissan Motorsport has made since the Altima's debut at the Clipsal 500 two weeks ago.

The second Norton 360 Altima of Michael Caruso also proved fast, qualifying in 12th place the highest of the Nissan quartet. Caruso's weekend was sent into a spin early when he was collected heavily by Tony D'Alberto on the first lap of Race 1. He climbed back to 15th place, before taking 14th in Race 2. In the wet Race 3, Caruso raced superbly to ninth, but like Todd Kelly, was excluded for a technical infringement.

In the final race, Caruso led four laps of the race while off sequence in the compulsory pit stop routine, eventually taking 12th place.

The next time the Nissan Altimas hit the track will be for championship points when the V8 Supercars head to Symmons Plains for the Tasmania 360 on April 5-7.

James Moffat - #360 Norton 360 Nissan Altima
“It's very encouraging signs to come away with four top 10 finishes,‘ said Moffat.
“We need to be pretty pleased with the weekend. I feel the car is handling well, braking well, but it's difficult to pass because we're lacking a bit in a straight line.
“To be running in the top 10 is nothing to sneeze at in this category, but there are some easy areas for us to improve on.
“We need to keep our heads down and keep chipping away at it, and hopefully we'll role out in Tasmania with a good package.‘

Rick Kelly - #15 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima
“This weekend was an improvement for us and was probably a little better than we expected, being a horsepower track here at Albert Park, we expected to be a little further back,‘ said Rick Kelly.
“For all the cars to be pushing toward the top five was great, but I wasn't quite able to get the same result, so we need to go back and have a bit of a look and learn back at the workshop now we've actually got three weeks before the next event.
“We've got four cars so we can start to analyse the data and try and get some performance out of the car and spend some time on that, rather than just trying to get to track, which we've been forced to do so far.‘

Todd Kelly - #7 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima
“I'm really happy with what we've learned over the weekend with the car. The overall performance is a lot stronger than what I expected, given it's only our second race with the Nissan,‘ said Todd Kelly.
“We've still got a lot of development to do especially on the engine side to catch up to where we were at the end of last year," Todd Kelly said.
“A big horsepower track like this, to be running where we are, I think is fantastic and again as we said at Adelaide, the actual chassis is really strong, so I'm looking forward to a really solid year. “If we can keep improving a little bit between each round by mid-year we'll be in a really good place.‘

Michael Caruso - #36 Norton 360 Racing Nissan Altima
“We're definitely in a better position that we thought we'd be, which is very encouraging,‘said Caruso.
“It could have been better, and we've got a bit of work to do, but we know what we've got is a good package.
“We've made improvements and we need to keep working hard because there's areas that can give us big jumps in results.‘

Click images above to see larger versions.

 

[ Race Results ] - Race 1
Pos No Machine Driver Team Time / Behind
1 14 Holden Craig Lowndes Red Bull Racing Australia 25'14.8756
2 8 Holden Jason Bright Team BOC 1.7467
3 6 Ford Will Davison Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford 4.6233
4 1 Holden Jamie Whincup Red Bull Racing Australia 6.4004
5 888 Holden Craig Lowndes Red Bull Racing Australia 7.1534
7 360 Nissan James Moffat Norton 360 Racing 8.4223
9 15 Nissan Rick Kelly Jack Daniel's Racing 14.5232
11 7 Nissan Todd Kelly Jack Daniel's Racing 15.7877
15 36 Nissan Michael Caruso Norton 360 Racing 22.3795
[ Race Results ] - Race 2
Pos No Machine Driver Team Time / Behind
1 14 Holden Craig Lowndes Red Bull Racing Australia 24'38.9131
2 8 Holden Jason Bright Team BOC 4.8876
3 888 Holden Craig Lowndes Red Bull Racing Australia 2.1309
4 6 Ford Will Davison Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford 14.6794
5 360 Nissan James Moffat Norton 360 Racing 15.1337
8 7 Nissan Todd Kelly Jack Daniel's Racing 19.1729
13 15 Nissan Rick Kelly Jack Daniel's Racing 29.2584
14 36 Nissan Michael Caruso Norton 360 Racing 29.5087
[ Race Results ] - Race 3
Pos No Machine Driver Team Time / Behind
1 14 Holden Craig Lowndes Red Bull Racing Australia 27'29.4438
2 55 Ford David Reynolds The Bottle-O FPR Ford 0.6814
3 8 Holden Jason Bright Team BOC 9.7505
4 22 Holden James Courtney Holden Racing Team 10.7604
5 6 Ford Will Davison Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford 11.1235
6 15 Nissan Rick Kelly Jack Daniel's Racing 19.9649
10 360 Nissan James Moffat Norton 360 Racing 28.2865
- 7 Nissan Todd Kelly Jack Daniel's Racing EXC
- 36 Nissan Michael Caruso Norton 360 Racing EXC
[ Race Results ] - Race 4
Pos No Machine Driver Team Time / Behind
1 33 Holden Scott McLaughlin Fujitsu Racing GRM 24'35.7698
2 888 Holden Craig Lowndes Red Bull Racing Australia 1.6852
3 14 Holden Fabian Coulthard Lockwood Racing 2.0032
4 55 Ford David Reynolds The Bottle-O FPR Ford 2.4752
5 18 Ford Alex Davison Jeld-wen FPR Ford 6.7752
7 7 Nissan Todd Kelly Jack Daniel's Racing 9.3351
10 360 Nissan James Moffat Norton 360 Racing 14.3803
12 36 Nissan Michael Caruso Norton 360 Racing 20.0522
13 15 Nissan Rick Kelly Jack Daniel's Racing 21.3834

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