NISSAN MOTORSPORTS

June 23, 2014

JAMES MOFFAT AND RICK KELLY RACE INTO THE TOP 10 IN DARWIN

V8 Supercars Championship Race Report - SKYCITY Triple Crown Darwin

Darwin, Australia (June 21-22, 2014) - Norton Nissan driver Michael Caruso has moved up to 12th place in the V8 Supercars Championship after two white-hot races in Race 17 at Hidden Valley Raceway in Darwin. Not to be beat, James Moffat and Rick Kelly also pulled out top 10 results in Race 19 today.

Caruso finished 12th and 10th in the two 100km races held on the first day of the event, passing his former team-mate Lee Holdsworth in the series points score.

Caruso's Norton team-mate, James Moffat, took 11th place in Race 17, but was eliminated from the second race after minor contact with another machine. The incident damaged the suspension of the #360 Altima, ruling it out of contention. The only potential advantage that Moffat may receive is that he put in minimal laps on his second set of ‘hard’ tires, giving him a stronger bank of rubber for Sunday's race.

Moffat started Race 19 down in 22nd position, but despite his cool suit failing early in the race and battling cabin temperatures of close to 60 degrees, he claimed a seventh place finish.

Rick Kelly's ninth place was aided by his team's strategy on Saturday to save a set of tires for today's 200km race. While he had a strong bank of rubber, he used it faultlessly, scoring his first top 10 since New Zealand.

Michael Caruso finished 13th, but had to do it the hard way. He completed the race with a misfiring engine and a broken rear roll bar.

Todd Kelly was in a strong position at the mid-point of the race but was eliminated after contact with David Wall's entry.

The next event on the V8 Supercars Championship calendar is the Castrol Townsville 500 in two weeks time.

DRIVER QUOTES

James Moffat, #360 Norton Nissan Altima
“I can't recommend doing 200km around here without a cool suit. It certainly makes you feel alive! To come away with a seventh place finish from where we started, I'm pretty happy with that. [It would be good] if we could work out how to qualify on these soft tires and start these races further up. We're proving our race pace is very, very strong. We had a bit of an advantage with having a fresher set of hard tires at the start of the race, and it was important that we made the most of that. I felt like we did and it's good to get back some of those points that we lost yesterday.”

Rick Kelly, #15 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima
“It was a pretty solid result. It was really difficult to tell where we sat [during] the whole racec because there were so many different strategies coming into play. I had some really great battles out there, a bit of aggressive driving from others and from myself a little bit as well. The safety car period hurt us, we got jumped by a few in that exchange, which was a bit of a bummer, because up until that point we were cruising for a slightly better result. I'm pretty happy, we scored some good points from the day, the strategy call we made yesterday worked for us, and we head to Townsville with more confidence.”

Michael Caruso, #36 Norton Nissan Altima
“I'm pretty relived to come away with 13th. We had a broken rear roll bar and had an engine misfire, so the race was a warzone for me. It was pretty difficult, as the rear tires were wearing out pretty quickly because of the roll bar situation. Considering what happened, 13th place was a pretty reasonable result.”

Todd Kelly, #7 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima
“We had a good opportunity to get a result, we had really good tires, the guys had a good strategy and I had a great car. So the car was certainly fast, it's just a shame we couldn't convert that to a result. I was getting held up quite a bit by the guys in front, and I made a safe pass up the inside at the hairpin. I past inside the guys driving out of the corner, and somethingc grabbed my right rear wheel and plucked the suspension out of it. I couldn't have been any tighter in the corner, I couldn't have done much about it at that point, it's just a shame because we could have wound up with an extremely good result then.”

Click images above to see larger versions.

 

[ Race Results ] - Race 17 - 35 laps (June 21)
Pos Machine Driver Team Time / Behind
1 Holden Commodore VF Jamie Whincup Red Bull Racing Australia 42:27.6267
2 Holden Commodore VF Craig Lowndes Red Bull Racing Australia 42:31.9812
3 Holden Commodore VF Shane van Gisbergen Team Tekno VIP Petfoods 42:32.4253
4 Volvo S60 Scott McLaughlin Valvoline Racing GRM 42:40.6526
5 Holden Commodore VF Garth Tander Holden Racing Team 42:43.6940
11 Nissan Altima James Moffat Norton Hornets 42:53.2878
12 Nissan Altima Michael Caruso Norton Hornets 42:54.1377
17 Nissan Altima Rick Kelly Jack Daniel's Racing 43:00.5486
20 Nissan Altima Todd Kelly Jack Daniel's Racing 43:06.4915
[ Race Results ] - Race 18 - 35 laps (June 21)
Pos Machine Driver Team Time / Behind
1 Holden Commodore VF Jamie Whincup Red Bull Racing Australia 42:26.1100
2 Holden Commodore VF Craig Lowndes Red Bull Racing Australia 42:29.5080
3 Holden Commodore VF Fabian Coulthard Lockwood Racing 42:31.9746
4 Holden Commodore VF Garth Tander Holden Racing Team 42:37.6243
5 Volvo S60 Scott McLaughlin Valvoline Racing GRM 42:39.0170
10 Nissan Altima Michael Caruso Norton Hornets 42:44.6042
22 Nissan Altima Rick Kelly Jack Daniel's Racing 42:27.3616
23 Nissan Altima Todd Kelly Jack Daniel's Racing 43:15.0378
DNF Nissan Altima James Moffat Norton Hornets 0
[ Race Results ] - Race 19 - 69 laps (June 22)
Pos Machine Driver Team Time / Behind
1 Ford Falcon FG Mark Winterbottom Ford Pepsi Max Crew 1:27:20.3010
2 Holden Commodore VF Shane van Gisbergen Team Tekno VIP Petfoods 1:27:20.8354
3 Holden Commodore VF Jamie Whincup Red Bull Racing Australia 1:27:25.7905
4 Ford Falcon FG David Reynolds The Bottle-O Racing Team 1:27:31.1710
5 Holden Commodore VF James Courtney Holden Racing Team 1:27:35.1255
7 Nissan Altima James Moffat Norton Hornets 1:27:38.3320
9 Nissan Altima Rick Kelly Jack Daniel's Racing 1:27:50.6590
13 Nissan Altima Michael Caruso Norton Hornets 1:27:59.9820
DNF Nissan Altima Todd Kelly Jack Daniel's Racing 46:3.8638

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