November 2, 2013
Surfers Paradise, Australia (October 27th, 2013) - Nissan Motorsport has finished the Gold Coast 600 weekend off on a high, taking two top-ten finishes at the Surfers Paradise street circuit today.
#15 Rick Kelly / Karl Reindler
#36 Michael Caruso / Daniel Gaunt
The Rick Kelly/Karl Reindler Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima came home in sixth place, with the Michael Caruso/Daniel Gaunt Norton entry claiming a hard-earned 10th.
After yesterday's chaotic event that yielded a best Nissan finish of 11th place (Kelly/Reindler), the Nissan squad came out on Sunday to prove it can mix with the front-runners.
That point was made clear in qualifying when James Moffat drove the wheels off the #360 Norton car to claim second on the grid.
Moffat and co-driver Taz Douglas ran well and looked like they would finish seventh, only for Moffat to leave the track at the back chicane and damage the front suspension with 12 laps remaining. It was the #360 car's second DNF after an engine failure in Saturday's race. While Moffat failed to finish, Caruso took 10th in the second Norton car, but rued some cruel luck that kept them out of the podium hunt.
At the final driver change and pit stop, Gaunt handed the Altima over to Caruso, but a Safety Car period less than two laps later meant that he lost time to his rivals, dropping down to 12th place. Despite the setback, he made it past two drivers to take his third top-10 finish of the year.
Todd Kelly and David Russell, driving the #7 Jack Daniel's Racing Altima, were forced into retirement by an engine issue before Kelly even had the opportunity to get behind the wheel. Russell had been running fifth at the time, ahead of eventual podium finishers Ryan Briscoe and Luke Youlden.
Rick Kelly - #15 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima
“EP (Erik Pender) and the team really gave me a rocket today and I didn't get enough out of it during qualifying, so I need to put my hand up and say that I didn't take the piss as much as everyone else on the kerbs and that put us back a little bit.
“We didn't make any mistakes. Perry my engineer did an awesome job to keep us on the lead lap and the car was great, so for the amount of speed we were lacking on the straight and the amount of aggression we were getting from the cars behind, I think to finish 11th is an awesome result. When we get a little bit more straight-line speed under our belt the cars are going to be extremely good.”
Karl Reindler - #15 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima
“I'm really happy, especially after yesterday where we led 21 laps. It was nice to be further up the grid today.
“We played it very differently with the strategy today and it worked out in the end. I think sixth is a great result after a long day.”
Michael Caruso - #36 Norton Nissan Altima
“We had fantastic car speed today and got up to P3. Then when I jumped in the car, the Safety Car came out and ruined our race.
“Our calculations say that we should have been around P5 with a car to attack. But we ended up P12. We picked up a couple for 10th, and I don't want to sound too down, but I strive to win races, not finish 10th. It wasn't the results we had hoped for in the endurance races, but at least there's some consolation with this result.”
Daniel Gaunt - #36 Norton Nissan Altima (co-driver)
“I wasn't happy with my stint. I was defending from one of the FPR cars and I pushed too deep into Turn 11 and torched a right front tire.
“It hurt the stopping power of the car and my speed for the rest of the stint. To come away with a top-10 is great. Caruso drove fantastically all weekend. We were unlucky yesterday with the upright failure, but this top-10 finish makes up for it.”
|1||888||Holden||Craig Lowndes / Warren Luff||102||2:12'10.6080|
|2||97||Holden||Shane van Gisbergen / Jeroen Bleekemolen||102||2:12'19.3223|
|3||5||Ford||Mark Winterbottom / Steve Richards||102||2:12'23.3260|
|4||3||Holden||Tony D'Alberto / Jonny Reid||102||2:12'23.7026|
|5||66||Holden||Russell Ingall / Ryan Briscoe||102||2:12'28.8516|
|6||6||Ford||Will Davison / Steve Owen||102||2:12'36.7160|
|7||21||Holden||David Wall / Chris Pither||102||2:12'42.7173|
|8||55||Ford||David Reynolds / Dean Canto||102||2:12'44.0903|
|9||12||Ford||David Wall / Chris Pither||102||2:12'45.8410|
|10||19||Holden||Jonathon Webb / Marc Lieb||102||2:12'46.1350|
|11||15||Nissan||Rick Kelly / Karl Reindler||102||2:12'46.5700|
|17||7||Nissan||Todd Kelly / David Russell||101||2:12'14.3980|
|-||360||Nissan||James Moffat / Taz Douglas||97||2:06'43.4700|
|-||36||Nissan||Michael Caruso / Daniel Gaunt||60||1:22'14.2600|
|1||55||Ford||David Reynolds / Dean Canto||102||2:09'31.0800|
|2||14||Holden||Fabian Coulthard / Luke Youlden||102||2:09'32.2700|
|3||66||Holden||Russell Ingall / Ryan Briscoe||102||2:09'32.8800|
|4||1||Holden||Jamie Whincup / Paul Dumbrell||102||2:09'33.5700|
|5||4||Mercedes-Benz||Lee Holdsworth / Craig Baird||102||2:09'34.0000|
|6||15||Nissan||Rick Kelly / Karl Reindler||102||2:09'34.5600|
|7||2||Holden||Garth Tander / Nick Percat||102||2:09'34.8700|
|8||888||Holden||Craig Lowndes / Warren Luff||102||2:09'35.5000|
|9||6||Ford||Will Davison / Steve Owen||102||2:09'37.1700|
|10||36||Nissan||Michael Caruso / Daniel Gaunt||102||2:09'37.8100|
|-||360||Nissan||James Moffat / Taz Douglas||88||1:53'35.5000|
|-||7||Nissan||Todd Kelly / David Russell||27||34'46.0100|