TODD AND RICK KELLY ADAPT TO NEW CIRCUIT IN ABU DHABI Jack Daniel's Racing drivers Todd and Rick Kelly have both had to work hard on the opening day of the Yas V8 400 at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi today. Learning the new circuit and...
TODD AND RICK KELLY ADAPT TO NEW CIRCUIT IN ABU DHABI
Jack Daniel's Racing drivers Todd and Rick Kelly have both had to work hard on the opening day of the Yas V8 400 at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi today.
Learning the new circuit and developing a car set-up for the challenging venue was the priority for the Kelly brothers, with oversteer issues on the low-grip circuit a significant factor in set-up decisions.
A spin for Rick Kelly saw him flat spot two tyres on his first set of Dunlop rubber, but a switch to another set saw him gain time aboard the #15 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore to eventually finish the day 19th fastest on combined times.
Todd Kelly was down in 25th fastest aboard his brand new #7 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore, running the same set of tyres for all four segments of today's practice to not only save his tyres for qualifying and racing action, but also evaluate his car on older rubber around the 4.7-kilometre circuit.
Shane van Gisbergen set the fastest time in practice at the Yas Marina Circuit today ahead of Craig Lowndes and Mark Winterbottom.
After practice, five-time V8 Supercar champion and Seven Network V8 Supercar commentator Mark Skaife drove laps in Rick Kelly's #15 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore for Seven's telecast from Abu Dhabi.
JACK DANIEL'S RACING QUOTEBOARD
Rick Kelly - #15 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore:
"It was a tough first day for us," said Rick Kelly.
"The first practice session was massively hindered by the set of tyres that we put on. We had really bad oversteer and could not get ride of it.
"We eventually flat spotted a tyre and spun because of it so we changed to another set and that dramatically changed the Jack Daniel's Commodore.
"It's a bit of a bummer that those first set of tyres cost us some time and put us behind the eight-ball, but the car is feeling OK now.
"The track is a lot of fun and a real challenge so tomorrow we are just going to have to really give it our best shot and perform at a higher level to make up some ground.
"There are a lot of things to this track - change of direction, undulations in the first part of the lap, so it's a lot of fun.
"I feel pretty privileged to be able to drive around a circuit like this with the facilities we've got here. It's pretty exciting but nothing will make it more enjoyable than a good result.
"We've now got to work out where the car needs to be and how I need to drive it so that we can attack qualifying."
Todd Kelly - #7 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore:
"This track is a little bit tricky in places in one of these cars," said Rick Kelly.
"I think everything worked out quite well for our #7 Jack Daniel's Commodore today. We went through a heap of different set-ups and the mechanics earned their money today.
"We got a pretty good idea on the direction and where to go on set-up and I think the car was pretty good in the end. Nearly everyone put a second set of tyres on but we made a pact at the start of the day that we would only use one set of tyres for all four sessions.
"So it's a little harsh that we are 23rd when we are probably a bit better than that. When the car was at its best we stayed on old rubber.
"There is a bit of fine tuning that we need to do to the car and it's still a little too loose in the rear.
"I think that we should be up there somewhere when hook into qualifying tomorrow.
"The track is a challenge and it promotes you to be a little messy and loose in places so it's hard to string a really good lap together.
"If you get one or two corners wrong it's a long way to get back around and have another crack at it, and then to try and finish a neat lap.
"But it's a good track. It's quite difficult in places and technical. You need to have your eyes on to get around here for 200 kilometres, that's for sure.
"It's a fairly low grip type of surface and the corners are fast and a few of them are quite long-radius, which a V8 Supercar traditionally doesn't like. At the end of the day we don't have completely purpose built race cars and this track is a Formula One type track, as in Bahrain.
"And these types of tracks you need to bring your driving back from the limit a little bit and get around as good as you can without pushing too hard because it is extremely easy to get the car out of shape."
-source: kelly racing