NISSAN MOTORSPORTS

June 18, 2013

RICK KELLY SCORES FIFTH PLACE FOR NISSAN

2013 V8 Supercars Championship Race Report

DARWIN, Australia (June 16th, 2013) - Rick Kelly has created more milestone results for Nissan Motorsport, this time at Hidden Valley Raceway in Darwin, Northern Territory over the weekend.

Kelly earned Nissan Motorsport its first Top-10 Shootout birth on Saturday, qualifying in 10th place before securing seventh place on the grid after his single-lap shootout run aboard the #15 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima. Kelly finished fifth in Saturday's 60/60 format race, the first time a Nissan Altima has finished inside the top five in a V8 Supercars Championship race, following James Moffat's fifth place in one of the non-championship races at the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne in March. Adding to the success for the team on Saturday was a top-10 finish for Michael Caruso in the #36 Norton 360 Nissan Altima. Caruso's finishing position was his best result of the 2013 season.

Sunday's racing proved to be more difficult for the factory Nissan team, however. Lowly qualifying performances, plus a major multi-car accident involving Moffat's #360 Norton 360 Nissan Altima, made for a frustrating day. Caruso, a former winner at the Hidden Valley circuit, scored the best result for the day with 11th, while Jack Daniel's Racing's Todd Kelly qualified strongly (12th and 13th respectively), but could not convert his fast one-lap pace into a top-10 result. A 12th-place finish in the first race was the best the former Bathurst 1000 winner could muster. Rick Kelly salvaged 12th place in the final race after uncharacteristically poor qualifying performances this weekend.

The next event on the 2013 V8 Supercars Championship schedule is the Sucrogen Townsville 400 in northern Queensland on July 5-7.

Rick Kelly - #15 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima
“It was a very eventful race for everyone on Saturday. We had a little bit of an oil temperature problem in the first half of the race and it hindered us a little bit. We let four or five cars go and it was probably for the better when you look at the restart for the second half of the race, because that's exactly where I would have been - where the accident was. We made up ground from other people's unfortunate circumstances and got to fifth, so my Altima was quite good and we can definitely build on that for tomorrow. I'm very happy to finish fifth because there are probably a few cars out there that are a bit quicker than us, so we can make a few changes to make it even better, but it's definitely in the window.‘

Michael Caruso - #36 Norton Nissan Altima
“This weekend has certainly been more good than bad for me. The 21st-place finish in the first race today (Sunday) was disappointing, but we had great speed and as we know at Hidden Valley, if you don't qualify well, it really hurts you trying to come back through the field. In the first race, I had good pace on my own, but it's extremely difficult to pass when you get behind someone. In the last race, I kept my nose clean at the start, which was almost impossible given the stuff that we saw going on. The team has some work to do to fix James's car, but hopefully we can go to Townsville with some more improvements in the car and continue to progress.‘

Todd Kelly - #7 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima
“We should have been miles further up the road than all of that 'agro'. That Safety Car period that put me back a few spots, but the car was well and truly faster than the guys in front - however we're just so vulnerable up the straight that I got gobbled up again and pushed back even more. Where we finished is certainly not representative of what the car can do, so it's a shame we ended up getting unnecessarily taken out.‘

James Moffat - #360 Norton Nissan Altima
“It's certainly the biggest hit I've had in a V8 Supercar; it caps off our weekend, really. We haven't been competitive and I feel very sorry for the guys in the team because there's a lot of damage to the car. I didn't see what was going on in front. At the start of the race, you're jostling for position anyway, and then all of a sudden the field came to a standstill right in front of me and I had nowhere to go. There's a bit of damage to the #360 Norton 360 Nissan Altima, and the boys have a bit more work to do than they normally would to turn it around for Townsville. That's our first DNF of the season, something I'd made a goal of avoiding at the start of the year - but that one was out of our control.‘

Click images above to see larger versions.

 

[ Race Results ] - Race 17
Pos No Machine Driver Team Time / Behind
1 1 Holden Jamie Whincup Red Bull Racing Australia 1:18'55.3670
2 97 Holden Shane van Gisbergen TEKNO Team VIP 0.3434
3 22 Holden James Courtney Holden Racing Team 3.6843
4 19 Holden Jonathon Webb Tekno Autosports 4.9934
5 15 Nissan Rick Kelly Jack Daniel's Racing 8.1467
6 47 Mercedes-Benz Tim Slade Heavy Haulage Australia Racing 8.989
10 36 Nissan Michael Caruso Norton 360 Racing 13.494
15 360 Nissan James Moffat Norton 360 Racing 20.4484
17 7 Nissan Todd Kelly Jack Daniel's Racing 21.7736
[ Race Results ] - Race 18
Pos No Machine Driver Team Time / Behind
1 5 Ford Mark Winterbottom Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford 42'28.7456
2 22 Holden        James Courtney Holden Racing Team 6.012
3 888 Holden Craig Lowndes Red Bull Racing Australia 6.2422
4 6 Ford Will Davison Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford 7.5924
5 1 Holden Jamie Whincup Red Bull Racing Australia 7.9244
6 19 Holden Jonathon Webb Tekno Autosports 9.906
12 7 Nissan Todd Kelly Jack Daniel's Racing 26.6694
21 36 Nissan Michael Caruso Norton 360 Racing 44.2617
23 360 Nissan James Moffat Norton 360 Racing 45.1545
25 15 Nissan Rick Kelly Jack Daniel's Racing 50.2009
[ Race Results ] - Race 19
Pos No Machine Driver Team Time / Behind
1 888 Holden        Craig Lowndes Red Bull Racing Australia 31'39.6940
2 5 Ford Mark Winterbottom Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford 0.1105
3 55 Ford David Reynolds The Bottle-O FPR Ford 1.7795
4 19 Holden Jonathon Webb Tekno Autosports 2.4636
5 2 Holden Garth Tander HoldenRacing Team 4.6353
6 97 Holden Shane van Gisbergen TEKNO Team VIP 5.1507
11 36 Nissan Michael Caruso Norton 360 Racing 15.7606
12 15 Nissan Rick Kelly Jack Daniel's Racing 17.6507
20 7 Nissan Todd Kelly Jack Daniel's Racing 26.7713
- 360 Nissan James Moffat Norton 360 Racing 24Laps

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