REFOCUSED KELLY BROTHERS LOOK TO STEP IT UP IN QUEENSLAND
Jack Daniel’s Racing drivers Todd and Rick Kelly are looking to step up their attack on the V8 Supercars Championship in the second half of the 2011 season, starting this weekend at the Coates Hire Ipswich 300 in Ipswich, Queensland.
The Queensland Raceway event sees renewed focus for both Jack Daniel’s Racing drivers, with a recent restructure of the team designed to allow Todd and Rick to focus more attention on their roles as full-time V8 Supercars drivers.
Rick Kelly admits that he intends to be more aggressive in the second half of the season and has set himself a goal of finishing in the top three in the championship standings.
Todd Kelly has shown flashes of speed so far this year, highlighted by third place in New Zealand, with the 31-year-old now setting his sights on resurrecting his season aboard the #7 Jack Daniel’s Commodore.
JACK DANIEL’S RACING QUOTEBOARD
TODD KELLY - #7 Jack Daniel’s Holden Commodore:
On renewed focus on driving …
“It's good that we've had a good break from Townsville leading into Queensland Raceway,” said Todd Kelly.
“It's given all of us here at Kelly Racing a really good chance to reflect on the first half of the year and then really do a review of the whole business.
“We are only quite young and the business is forever changing and evolving. We've come up with a lot of good things in one of the bigger restructures we've had in top-level management.
“It's designed to take a bit of the load off of Rick and I so that we can still have control of the business, but in a much more streamlined manner, as well as allow us to focus much more energy into driving the Jack Daniel’s Commodores.”
On the Coates Hire Ipswich 300 …
“It's a pretty interesting event that we've got at Queensland Raceway this year,” said Todd Kelly.
“The whole format has changed quite a bit. It will keep everyone on their toes and it's good to do something different, especially after coming off a good break from the previous round.
“Everyone is quite refreshed and I’m certainly a lot better positioned than what we have been, because we had a pretty busy lead up to the past few events.
“So we've all had a good break. I'm coming into Queensland much fresher and thinking clearer entering the weekend than what I have been. The whole team is pretty fresh.
“We've been doing a lot of training and team building stuff and we really can't wait to get to the track to hit it and get back into racing.”
RICK KELLY - #15 Jack Daniel’s Holden Commodore:
“We've had a big break since Townsville, which has been a great time for our team to stand back from what we have been doing, reflect on the first half of the year and come up with some really solid aims for the remainder of the year,” said Rick Kelly.
“For us as a team this is the highest we've ever had a car in the championship this far into the season with fourth place.
“It's very close from fourth to 10th but we want to have a really good crack at getting one of our cars in the top three for the end of the year.
“We've put a lot of focus on that and worked hard on all our cars. Queensland is a great place for us to start really putting those aims into action.
“From the point of view of my driving I haven't been too happy with how I have performed, particularly at the last round at Townsville.
“I think I can do a bit of a better job and be a bit more aggressive, which we plan to implement at QR and really cement ourselves in the top few in points.
“It's so close between fourth and 10th that we could end up back there really quickly. It's time for us to really turn the wick up for two reasons, one to get a really solid result for this year and secondly the way you perform in the last half of this year really sets the tone for the start of next year.
“So for those two reasons it's very important not only for my car, but for all four cars to have a really good finish to the year and that starts from now.
“I've always been hovering around the bottom of the top five as far as results go in Queensland so we really want to improve on that this weekend in the #15 Jack Daniel’s Commodore.
“I'm really excited about the new format. The two 22-lap sprint races 15 minutes apart are really good. I love how diverse our championship is, particularly with different formats like we have.
“It's been exciting to sit down with the engineering group deciding on how we can attack this new format in the best possible way.
“I'm looking forward to the event. Sunday's race is a longer one and both Saturday and Sunday are two good opportunities to cement ourselves in the top four in the championship.”