NISSAN MOTORSPORTS

April 28, 2014

NISSAN MOTORSPORT STEALS THE SHOW IN NEW ZEALAND

V8 Supercars Championship Race Report - ITM 500 Auckland

Auckland, New Zealand (April 24-27, 2014) - James Moffat, driving the #360 Norton Nissan Altima, finished the two races in 15th and eighth place - the best of the Nissan quartet at Saturday's race in the New Zealand round of the Australian V8 Supercars, ITM 500 Auckland at Pukekohe Park.

Jack Daniel's driver Todd Kelly was the front runner for the Nissan squad in qualifying, putting in a pair of ninth place efforts in the dual 10 minute sessions. However both races that followed were soured by drive line issues during the race starts.

Bouncing back from these dramas, Todd claimed 13th and 19th in these respective encounters.

A further race was held on the following Sunday in the form of a 200km race, and Michael Caruso qualified his #36 Norton Nissan Altima strongly in seventh and utilized an excellent race pace to gain two places, to cross the line in fifth. This result has moved him up to 13th in the V8 Supercars Championship - the best of the Nissan Motorsport quartet.

Jack Daniel's Nissan driver Rick Kelly saved his best result until the last race of the weekend with a strong eighth place result. Kelly started 10th and stayed out of trouble in the Safety Car free race to claim a valuable top 10 finish.

The next event of the V8 Supercars Championship will be held at Perth's Barbagallo Raceway on May 16-18.

DRIVER QUOTES

James Moffat, #360 Norton Nissan Altima
“All in all, Saturday wasn't a bad day for us. We had a quick car in practice and we made a couple of very small changes for the first qualifying, thinking that we could go even faster, but it didn't work and it shows you how close V8 Supercars is. That put us down in 20th, so we reverted to our practice set-up for the second qualifying session and managed 10th. Eighth place at the second race is about the maximum our car has at the moment. I didn't make any mistakes and it was flat out for 35 laps. To end up eighth is good points for the championship”

Michael Caruso, #36 Norton Nissan Altima
“It's a credit to the Nissan Motorsport crew for this result. We had some mechanical problems on Friday and Saturday, we fixed those up, qualified in seventh on Sunday and moved up a couple of spots at the end. The race was worth a lot more points, so we really needed this result to bounce back after a couple of tough rounds. Barbagallo Raceway is next on the calendar, and that's a circuit where you really know if you have a good car or not. I think we'll come away from there with a good understanding of our true speed relative to others. We've also got a test coming up after Barbagallo too, so that will be perfect timing. We've got some ideas on what we want to do, but we're just holding them until that test.”

Rick Kelly, #15 Jack Daniel's Racing Nissan Altima
“It's good that we managed a better result on Sunday because it was for triple points compared to the other races. We didn't quite get the strategy as good as hoped, but we ran up the front and had really strong race pace. For us it's a step forward, and we definitely had the potential there to be up as high as probably third with that race package. We can be happy with that, that does really prove that Nissan Motorsport has made a good leap forward in the last couple of rounds, and we have been able to capitalize on it, particularly with Michael (Caruso's) fifth position.”

Todd Kelly, #7 Jack Daniel's Racing Nissan Altima
“On Saturday, I made two top-ten qualifying runs, and two really bad starts. In the first race, the clutch just locked up on the start and stalled the engine when the red lights were on, so when the lights went out, my engine wasn't running. So we changed the clutch and only just got back out there for the second race, again starting inside the top-ten, and it did the same thing again. The engine stalled, and I had a lot more trouble getting it going, we dropped down the field and that's where we stayed.”


Click images above to see larger versions.

 

[ Race Results ] - Race 10 - 35 laps (April 25)
Pos Machine Driver Team Time / Behind
1 Holden Commodore VF Jason Bright Team BOC 40:48.3125
2 Holden Commodore VF Shane van Gisbergen Team Tekno VIP Petfoods 40:49.9920
3 Holden Commodore VF Craig Lowndes Red Bull Racing Australia 40:53.1677
4 Holden Commodore VF James Courtney Holden Racing Team 40:53.9084
5 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG V8 Supercar Will Davison Erebus Motorsport V8 40:54.4680
10 Nissan Altima James Moffat Norton Hornets 41:06.3950
16 Nissan Altima Todd Kelly Jack Daniel's Racing 41:10.5430
17 Nissan Altima Michael Caruso Norton Hornets 41:11.6924
20 Nissan Altima Rick Kelly Jack Daniel's Racing 41:14.5107
[ Race Results ] - Race 11 - 35 laps (April 26)
Pos Machine Driver Team Time / Behind
1 Ford Falcon FG Mark Winterbottom Ford Pepsi Max Crew 39:39.7002
2 Holden Commodore VF James Courtney Holden Racing Team 39:41.6510
3 Ford Falcon FG Chaz Mostert Ford Pepsi Max Crew 39:44.9521
4 Holden Commodore VF Jamie Whincup Red Bull Racing Australia 39:46.4888
5 Holden Commodore VF Shane van Gisbergen Team Tekno VIP Petfoods 39:48.3933
13 Nissan Altima Todd Kelly Jack Daniel's Racing 40:02.1520
15 Nissan Altima James Moffat Norton Hornets 40:02.6614
17 Nissan Altima Rick Kelly Jack Daniel's Racing 40:03.9734
20 Nissan Altima Michael Caruso Norton Hornets 40:05.6610
[ Race Results ] - Race 12 - 35 laps (April 26)
Pos Machine Driver Team Time / Behind
1 Holden Commodore VF Shane van Gisbergen Team Tekno VIP Petfoods 39:34.1380
2 Ford Falcon FG Mark Winterbottom Ford Pepsi Max Crew 39:34.4275
3 Volvo S60 Scott McLaughlin Valvoline Racing GRM 39:41.6077
4 Holden Commodore VF Jamie Whincup Red Bull Racing Australia 39:41.8066
5 Holden Commodore VF Garth Tander Holden Racing Team 39:44.1946
8 Nissan Altima James Moffat Norton Hornets 39:45.1018
13 Nissan Altima Michael Caruso Norton Hornets 39:48.4175
15 Nissan Altima Rick Kelly Jack Daniel's Racing 39:54.1180
19 Nissan Altima Todd Kelly Jack Daniel's Racing 39:57.8447
[ Race Results ] - Race 13- 70 laps (April 27)
Pos Machine Driver Team Time / Behind
1 Ford Falcon FG Mark Winterbottom Ford Pepsi Max Crew 1:16:14.0720
2 Volvo S60 Scott McLaughlin Valvoline Racing GRM 1:16:21.0527
3 Ford Falcon FG Chaz Mostert Ford Pepsi Max Crew 1:16:30.9526
4 Holden Commodore VF Shane van Gisbergen Team Tekno VIP Petfoods 1:16:37.5840
5 Nissan Altima Michael Caruso Norton Hornets 1:16:39.3213
8 Nissan Altima Rick Kelly Jack Daniel's Racing 1:16:43.8496
16 Nissan Altima James Moffat Norton Hornets 1:16:53.4610
24 Nissan Altima Todd Kelly Jack Daniel's Racing 1:16:28.8750

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