July 10, 2013
TOWNSVILLE, Australia (July 7th, 2013) - The Nissan Motorsport quartet collected valuable V8 Supercars Championship points at the Sucrogen Townsville 400 over the weekend.
#360 James Moffat
#7 Todd Kelly
The Norton-backed entries of Michael Caruso and James Moffat campaigned in a new, bright yellow color scheme - ensuring that the #36 and #360 Altimas were hard to miss around the 2.8-kilometer Townsville street circuit. The new look will remain for the rest of the 2013 V8 Supercars Championship, but in a special one-off initiative, the two-car Norton team was also racing under a new name, the ‘Norton Hornets’ in Townsville.
Rick Kelly kicked off the points-haul with a determined 12th-place finish in Saturday's first race, with his teammates James Moffat, Todd Kelly and Michael Caruso finishing 15th, 16th and 18th respectively.
Sunday's race was dominated by strategy, and James Moffat proved to be the best of the Nissan Altima drivers, taking 14th place, one spot ahead of Todd Kelly.
Rick Kelly and Michael Caruso finished in 20th and 23rd respectively.
The next event on the V8 Supercars Championship calendar will be held at Queensland Raceway in Ipswich, Queensland on July 27-28.
James Moffat - #360 Norton Hornets Nissan Altima
“It was a pretty difficult day again, punctuated by another poor qualifying performance,‘ said James Moffat.
“We need to get a handle on the hard tire, especially in qualifying conditions. As soon as you start the races in the 20s, youfre on an uphill battle. I battled away in the first stint on the hard tire. The car wasnft great. I put the soft tire on and the car came to life, particularly late in the race, but when youfre coming from that far back, itfs difficult to do much. We probably missed the strategy, not coming in on that Safety Car. We got swamped on the soft tires and lost a lot of track position. Of the cars that didnft take the Safety Car, we might have been the cars that finished the furthest up. Not that it counts for much, but wefve stayed in the top half of the championship‘
Todd Kelly - #7 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima
“It was a frustrating race, I ended up near last a few times after getting caught up with other cars and then I worked my way back through and once we got into a rhythm, especially on the soft tires, I got a lot of positions back,‘ said Todd Kelly.
“I had a monumental electronics incident in the car from about the halfway point of the race. Everything just shut down and then the car leaned the engine out and all the gear changes and all the electronics werenft working. That cost me a huge amount of time and although it came back on for a few laps, it went off again towards the end - so given all the dramas we had, 15th is not too bad. The car is certainly fast enough to press on‘
Rick Kelly - #15 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima
“Qualifying today wasn't too bad, I think everyone was probably a little bit tired after yesterday's race and I didn't feel like I got the most out of the car by a couple of tenths, but even if I gained that I would have only been a few spots further up, so 12th wasn't too bad,‘ said Rick Kelly.
“We made a few changes for the race, the car wasnft quite ideal yesterday and therefs no point us going out again on the same setup, so we tried a few things that we thought would work. A couple of the tuning items did work and I think we had better pace around turn two and three, but it still wasnft quite enough. Obviously the interesting part of the race was the Safety Car and differing strategies, and for us we rolled the dice and it just didnft go our way. We lost a lot of track position and it put us back in the 20s unfortunately. We also had a little pace issue, not a big one, but we just werenft quite as quick as we could have been‘
Michael Caruso - #36 Norton Nissan Altima
“It was a tough day. Unfortunately, we got turned around by Brighty and that put us behind the eight-ball,‘ said Michael Caruso.
“It was an uphill battle, so we need to go away and go over things. Obviously, we need a solution to find a way forward. It's disappointing, because I thought we had a decent car on softs, but I never got a chance to show it‘
|Pos||No||Machine||Driver||Team||Time / Behind|
|1||6||Ford||Will Davison||Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford||1:28'39.5967|
|2||5||Ford||Mark Winterbottom||Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford||4.0097|
|3||14||Holden||Fabian Coulthard||Lockwood Racing||15.4678|
|4||888||Holden||Craig Lowndes||Red Bull Racing Australia||17.7900|
|5||8||Holden||Jason Bright||Team BOC||19.3149|
|6||22||Holden||James Courtney||Holden Racing Team||26.6020|
|7||1||Holden||Jamie Whincup||Red Bull Racing Australia||30.0029|
|8||2||Holden||Garth Tander||HoldenRacing Team||32.3723|
|9||18||Ford||Alex Davison||Jeld-wen FPR Ford||32.8523|
|10||12||Ford||Chaz Mostert||Wilson Security Racing||37.7397|
|12||15||Nissan||Rick Kelly||Jack Daniel's Racing||48.7333|
|15||360||Nissan||James Moffat||Norton Hornets Racing||58.0553|
|16||7||Nissan||Todd Kelly||Jack Daniel's Racing||1'02.1387|
|18||36||Nissan||Michael Caruso||Norton Hornets Racing||1'08.3989|
|Pos||No||Machine||Driver||Team||Time / Behind|
|1||2||Holden||Garth Tander||HoldenRacing Team||1:30'04.1640|
|2||22||Holden||James Courtney||Holden Racing Team||0.319|
|3||97||Holden||Shane van Gisbergen||TEKNO Team VIP||9.3853|
|4||5||Ford||Mark Winterbottom||Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford||21.6026|
|5||226||Holden||Russell Ingall||Supercheap Auto Racing||27.496|
|6||3||Holden||Tony D'Alberto||Team HIFLEX||27.747|
|7||888||Holden||Craig Lowndes||Red Bull Racing Australia||28.4156|
|8||47||Mercedes-Benz||Tim Slade||Heavy Haulage Australia Racing||30.053|
|9||33||Holden||Scott McLaughlin||Fujitsu Racing GRM||34.5333|
|10||6||Ford||Will Davison||Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford||36.8375|
|14||360||Nissan||James Moffat||Norton Hornets Racing||47.7657|
|15||7||Nissan||Todd Kelly||Jack Daniel's Racing||49.5826|
|20||15||Nissan||Rick Kelly||Jack Daniel's Racing||59.7227|
|22||36||Nissan||Michael Caruso||Norton Hornets Racing||1'08.6170|