Abu Dhabi: Jack Daniel's Racing preview

NEW RECRUITS WILL PUSH TODD AND RICK KELLY IN 2011

Jack Daniel's Racing driver Rick Kelly says that new recruits in the Kelly Racing stable will push he and brother Todd hard in the 2011 V8 Supercars Championship.

Ahead of the season-opening Yas V8 400 at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates this weekend, Rick Kelly says that Kelly Racing has made massive strides forward over the off-season.

While Todd and Rick Kelly remain in the familiar black and white Jack Daniel's Commodores, four-time Bathurst 1000 winner Greg Murphy and V8 young gun David Reynolds have joined Kelly Racing to form a formidable driver line-up.

Todd Kelly admits that the team has paid special attention to the unique Yas Marina Circuit, testing new components of the team's cars at Eastern Creek Raceway last month in preparation for this weekend's two 43-lap races.

JACK DANIEL'S RACING QUOTEBOARD:

RICK KELLY - #15 Holden Commodore

"We have taken a lot of steps up with Kelly Racing over the last two and a half years now, but none as big as what we did over the Christmas break," said Rick Kelly.

"Having Murph and Dave Reynolds join us has been fantastic and given us a lot of confidence.

"You can see that in all the boy's faces on the team. I drove with both Murph and Dave out on track at the Eastern Creek test and they pushed me.

"I had to really do a great lap time to match them. That for me is quite new, it's fantastic to have them on board and we are learning a lot from them. That gives us great excitement.

"They are going to keep Todd and I on our toes and that is great for the team.

"I'm really excited to get back into racing.

"It's always great to race at the start of the year when there are drivers in different cars and with different sponsors.

"It's fun to see how that all shakes out, who is at the front and who is not. I just want to make sure that we are one of those cars at the front.

"I enjoy driving at Abu Dhabi. The world-class circuit there is absolutely incredible.

"I enjoy every aspect of racing overseas. I enjoy the flight over there, I love racing in another culture and environment and love racing with all the other guys from Australia and presenting that back to Australia as well as other countries.

"We want to make sure we leave there with a great result because we will have to wait a whole year to fix it if we don't."

TODD KELLY - #7 Holden Commodore

"Abu Dhabi is a fantastic place," said Todd Kelly.

"Our cars really we not where they needed to be and didn't really suit Abu Dhabi last year.

"We have focused quite hard on that and tried a heap of stuff at Eastern Creek to go and implement at Abu Dhabi.

"I think we will be a lot better off there this year. Given it's a clean slate we can put last year behind us now and really have a crack at the championship. I just can't wait to get there."

KEY FACTS:

- Rick Kelly will debut a brand new chassis in Abu Dhabi ...

* Rick's new #15 Commodore, designated Kelly Racing chassis KR-02, may be making its race debut in Abu Dhabi, but it has already completed two full test days, at Winton Motor Raceway on 14 December 2010 and at Eastern Creek Raceway on 29 January 2011

- Todd and Rick Kelly are young veterans of V8 Supercars ...

* Todd Kelly enters his 11th full season in the V8 Supercars Championship in 2011. Todd, 31 years old, has 148 event starts, 19 race wins, 26 podium finishes and 6 pole positions to date

* Rick Kelly enters his 10th full season in the V8 Supercars Championship in 2011. Rick, who turned 28 years old last month, has 124 event starts, 9 race wins, 27 podium finishes and five pole positions to date

- Todd Kelly has strong form in overseas events ...

* Todd Kelly won the first Asian event in V8 Supercars history by winning at the Shanghai International Circuit in 2005 (winning Race 1, Race 3 and the event overall)

* Todd Kelly also scored a race win (Race 3) and second overall at the first V8 Supercars event held in the Middle East at the Bahrain International Circuit in 2006

- Rick Kelly one to watch in season openers ...

* Rick Kelly won the season's opening event in 2007 when he claimed victory at the Clipsal 500 on the streets of Adelaide

* Rick Kelly also scored pole position for the season opener in Adelaide in 2005 and earned a podium finish with third place in 2006

- Kellys welcome back DFS for Abu Dhabi ...

* Todd and Rick Kelly welcome DFS Galleria to their team for the Yas V8 400. DFS is the world's leading luxury retailer catering to the travelling public. Founded in 1960, DFS operates more than 200 stores including Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Japan, New Zealand, Guam and Hawaii

* The round DFS logo will replace the 'Old No 7' logo that usually adorns the bonnet, roof and rear doors of the two Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodores. The team's familiar Jack Daniel's Racing livery will return for the first Australian event of the 2011 season at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide on March 17-20

- Kelly brothers take plight of Queenslanders to the world in Abu Dhabi ...

* Todd and Rick Kelly will run 'Queensland' signage on the bonnets, doors, rear bar and rear wing of their black and white Commodores in the first event of the 2011 V8 Supercars Championship. Each year Jack Daniel's branding is removed from the cars for the Middle Eastern leg of the championship, with 'Jack Lives Here' featured in the past

* This year Todd and Rick Kelly will use their V8 Supercars to support the cause of the thousands of Queenslanders who have been touched by the recent floods in South East Queensland and subsequent Cyclone Yasi in the northern part of the state. The 2011 V8 Supercars Championship will be telecast in 102 countries

- Middle East airlift a massive operation for Jack Daniel's Racing ...

* More than 100-tonnes of cars and equipment, with an estimated value in excess of $A50 million, will be flown in two purpose-built 747-400 aircraft from Australia to Abu Dhabi

* As well as the V8 Supercars themselves, per car each team will also freight one spare engine, two spare gearboxes, 16 spare wheels, two spare bumpers, one rear bumper

* Per car each team is also given a 3500kg freight container for spare panels, suspension, hubs, axles, oil, tools, computers and pit equipment.

* Approximately 500 people, consisting of team members and V8 Supercars officials, will be travelling to Abu Dhabi for the Yas V8 400, with the Kelly Racing contingent around 40 people

-source: kelly racing

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Series V8SUPERCARS