NISSAN MOTORSPORTS

April 11, 2013

NISSAN MOTORSPORT KEEN TO TACKLE V8 SUPERCARS' RETURN TO PUKEKOHE FOLLOWING TASSIE TUSSLE

2013 V8 Supercars Championship Race Report

Symmons Plains, Australia (April 7, 2013) - Nissan Motorsport will look to continue its rise in the V8 Supercars Championship at Pukekohe in New Zealand this weekend after a steady performance at Symmons Plains last weekend.

The four Nissan Altimas raced consistently at the Tasmanian circuit, with a brace of top 20 results recorded over the two days of racing. Despite results that frustrated the team, the all-new Nissan V8 squad is buoyed by small improvements made to the cars and is confident that they are heading in the right direction.

Jack Daniel's Nissan driver Todd Kelly proved to be the fastest of the quartet at Symmons Plains, but was hampered by two engine problems. Todd's brother Rick Kelly finished with a best result of 16th (Race 5) and sits in a strong 14th place in the championship.

The Norton 360 Nissans of James Moffat and Michael Caruso proved consistent, the pair finishing with best results of 15th and 16th respectively. Moffat's weekend was slightly tarnished by a 15-point penalty for contact with Dean Fiore in Race 5.

The ITM400 Auckland at Pukekohe Park is the next stop for the V8 Supercars Championship, to be held this coming weekend. The New Zealand V8 Supercars event has sweet memories for Rick Kelly and the team, where Kelly was the winner during the championship's last visit there, and the place where Rick took his own team's maiden race win in its former guise as ‘Kelly Racing’ in 2011.

Rick Kelly - #15 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima
“The whole aim coming to Tasmania was to try and get through with straight cars ready to go to New Zealand. We knew it was going to be a struggle and we had to just get as many points as we possibly could. The guys did a great job, making a couple of small changes in between the two races that really sharpened the car up, so I think we should all be pretty happy. For the Nissans, 15th, 16th and 17th is great, but on the Jack Daniel's side it's disappointing to see another issue with Todd's car and not have him up there. We've got to take a little bit of a positive away from that as we fixed the car and got it to go round the corners really well. As we know, we've just go to get it to go faster on the straights, so it's onwards and upwards..‘

James Moffat - #360 Norton Nissan Altima
“We're happy because the minor changes we made to the car improved it in both races. In the last race, the Altima was probably the best it has been all weekend. I was quite happy with the way it handled through the corners. We still have a little way to go to get it to handle as well in a straight line, but I'm pretty happy to come away with a reasonable points-haul. I feel bad for turning around my old teammate (Dean Fiore) on the front straight after the final Safety Car. It was my mistake and I feel bad for that..‘

Michael Caruso - #36 Norton Nissan Altima
“It was a tough day, but we knew that we would have a hard time down here. This event gave us a great chance to focus on our chassis as we wait for some more horsepower to come, and the team are working really hard back at the factory to make that happen as quickly as possible. The worst car I've had all weekend was in the first race today where I ended up 16th. We changed the car for the last race and it was really, really good..‘

Click images above to see larger versions.

 

[ Race Results ] - Race 3
Pos No Machine Driver Team Time / Behind
1 14 Holden Fabian Coulthard Lockwood Racing 1:17'41.5215
2 1 Holden Jamie Whincup Red Bull Racing Australia 1.1382
3 5 Ford ark Winterbottom Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford 1.3025
4 8 Holden Jason Bright Team BOC 1.9905
5 2 Holden Garth Tander Holden Racing Team 2.2455
16 36 Nissan Michael Caruso Norton 360 Racing 10.8398
19 360 Nissan James Moffat Norton 360 Racing 13.2959
20 15 Nissan Rick Kelly Jack Daniel's Racing 13.5361
- 7 Nissan Todd Kelly Jack Daniel's Racing DNF
[ Race Results ] - Race 4
Pos No Machine Driver Team Time / Behind
1 8 Holden Jason Bright Team BOC 40'33.8545
2 2 Holden Garth Tander Holden Racing Team 3.6575
3 14 Holden Fabian Coulthard Lockwood Racing 4.8365
4 1 Holden Jamie Whincup Red Bull Racing Australia 5.5381
5 6 Ford Will Davison Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford 9.1340
16 7 Nissan Todd Kelly Jack Daniel's Racing 23.5823
19 36 Nissan Michael Caruso Norton 360 Racing 28.0824
20 360 Nissan James Moffat Norton 360 Racing 28.5205
23 15 Nissan Rick Kelly Jack Daniel's Racing 31.6945
[ Race Results ] - Race 5
Pos No Machine Driver Team Time / Behind
1 14 Holden Fabian Coulthard Lockwood Racing 42'20.8286
2 5 Ford Mark Winterbottom Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford 2.3674
3 22 Holden James Courtney Holden Racing Team 2.7774
4 8 Holden Jason Bright Team BOC 2.9614
5 1 Holden Jamie Whincup Red Bull Racing Australia 3.2494
15 360 Nissan James Moffat Norton 360 Racing 11.9778
16 15 Nissan Rick Kelly Jack Daniel's Racing 12.4068
17 36 Nissan Michael Caruso Norton 360 Racing 12.8354
- 7 Nissan Todd Kelly Jack Daniel's Racing DNF

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