TODD KELLY FINISHES NINTH IN OPENING RACE AT ALBERT PARK Todd Kelly has driven his ...
TODD KELLY FINISHES NINTH IN OPENING RACE AT ALBERT PARK
Todd Kelly has driven his #7 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore to a ninth place finish in the opening race of the Sprint Gas Manufacturer's Challenge at the Formula 1 ING Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne today.
Kelly was sixth fastest in the Top 10 Shootout earlier today, but started in eighth as a result of this weekend's format, which sees each row of the grid set along manufacturer lines.
Kelly suffered from a clutch problem that resulted in him getting a poor start and dropping to 10th place. He gained a spot when he passed Paul Dumbrell at Turn 13 and another spot when Garth Tander slowed at Turn 5 late in the race.
Kelly was passed by a charging Jamie Whincup in the closing stages, resulting in a solid ninth place finish.
The finish means that Kelly will start sixth for tomorrow's second race of the weekend around the 5.303-kilometre circuit.
Rick Kelly had a less fortunate race aboard the #15 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore.
Rick Kelly started from 12th position on the grid and was holding station until hit from behind and spun around by Steven Richards at Turn 12.
The clash resulted in a badly flat-spotted tyre for Rick Kelly and he chose to pit his car rather than risk further damage on the wounded tyre at what is a non-championship event.
Craig Lowndes won today's opening race ahead of Mark Winterbottom and Will Davison.
JACK DANIEL'S RACING QUOTEBOARD:
Todd Kelly - #7 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore
"The car is better than what it showed," said Todd Kelly.
"The clutch got stuck on at the start and the car started to wheel spin a few seconds before the light went so when the race started I lost a few spots and the rear tyres were completely cooked.
"In the race I didn't get to recover so given that the pace wasn't too bad.
"All things being equal I would have had the speed of the guys around me and in front which is promising.
"We didn't really have that with the leaders at Clipsal but the Triple Eight cars seem to be miles in front of everybody.
"We'll make more improvements for tomorrow and keep learning more about these Jack Daniel's Commodores."
Rick Kelly - #15 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore
"We didn't get a good start, but the car was going quite well," said Rick Kelly.
"We've made a few improvements since practice and have learnt a lot.
"The team is excited about our pace and the potential the car has got.
"Again, we got hit by Richo, he hit us under breaks and punted us off the track again. As a result we flat-spotted a tyre and it was a bit risky staying out there."