Abu Dhabi: Kelly Racing preview

KELLY RACING EVENT PREVIEW - YAS V8 400 (Abu Dhabi, UAE)

- Greg Murphy will make his first start for Kelly Racing in Abu Dhabi aboard the #11 Pepsi Max Commodore, also his first appearance at the Yas Marina Circuit. Murphy missed the opening event of the 2010 season

- Murphy is a former team-mate to Todd Kelly (Kmart Racing 2001-2002) and Rick Kelly (2003-2004), having shared success at the Bathurst 1000 with Rick in both 2003 and 2004

- David Reynolds also makes his first start with Kelly Racing in Abu Dhabi. Reynolds, driving the #16 Stratco Commodore, is the 'young gun' of the Kelly Racing driver line-up in 2010. Like Murphy, it will be his first appearance at the Yas Marina Circuit. Reynolds has 21 V8 Supercars Championship event starts to his name

- Reynolds will be able to lean on his more experienced team-mates for advice - Greg Murphy has 170 career event starts, Todd Kelly 148 and Rick Kelly 124

- Reynolds already has one race under his belt for season 2011, racing a Porsche in the Bathurst 12 Hour at Mount Panorama last weekend with fellow V8 Supercars driver Dean Fiore and car owner Marc Cini. The car failed to finish the endurance race

- Rick Kelly debuts a brand new #15 Commodore, designated Kelly Racing chassis KR-02, in Abu Dhabi. The car 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 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

- Kelly Racing is the only four-car team in the 2011 V8 Supercars Championship. The team will take 40 crew members to Abu Dhabi

KELLY RACING QUOTEBOARD:

GREG MURPHY - #11 Pepsi Max Commodore

"I've been whipping it up around Yas Marina on my Playstation 3 using F1 2010 so I'm all good - I know where to go now," said Greg Murphy.

"I'm really excited about it and I feel really relaxed. All the boys on the team deserve a bit of a break already because they have been working very hard.

"I'm super-impressed about the way everything operates around Kelly Racing and I feel fantastic about this first race in the Pepsi Max Crew Commodore.

"Having four cars in the same team does accelerate the learning process at a new track in some ways.

"Just being able to pick each other's brains and also look at each other's data will help. On a track like this with so many corners there is absolutely no doubt that there will be a fair few different ways that people will be attacking different corners.

"So to be able to pick up where somebody might be doing something different and finding, say, an extra three tenths of a second gain, is pretty handy.

"It takes a bit of time for everyone to go through that information but having all four drivers and crews working together gives us the potential to get on the pace early.

"I've been looking at a lot of the vision and in-car footage from last year to ensure that I'm ready right from the green light in the first practice session.

"You don't want to be in the bottom 50 percent of the championship, but having a couple of extra practice sessions on Thursday here at Yas Marina is going to help David and I get used to the track on our first visit here, so that's another little plus."

DAVID REYNOLDS - #16 Stratco Commodore

"I am so pumped to get out there and get the season underway," said Reynolds.

"We are over here in Abu Dhabi now and I can't sit still. To be back in a full-time drive has made it a very exciting off-season of anticipation and I've been pretty busy getting ready.

"It was good to get some race miles under my belt at the Bathurst 12 Hour last weekend. Not the result we wanted by any means, but a good hit-out before this weekend.

"I've never seen this track in person but I've given it a crack on the Playstation. Now that I'm here, wow, what an amazing venue. The closest I have been to a place like this is maybe Sepang in Malaysia, or Albert Park for the GP.

"I really want to put in a good performance in my first race aboard the Stratco Commodore. I'm just really, really excited about this event and this year overall, so I'm pretty pumped for first practice."

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 were 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."

-source: kelly racing

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Series V8SUPERCARS