Jack Daniel's Racing Townsville 400 Saturday Report

Townsville Street Circuit

RICK KELLY SCORES BEST TOWNSVILLE RESULT

Rick Kelly has equalled his best-ever finish at the Townsville street circuit with seventh place in the first race of the Sucrogen Townsville 400 in northern Queensland today.

But on this occasion it was car speed rather than luck that netted a top 10 result on a day that showed that Jack Daniel’s Racing has turned around it’s previous poor form at the 2.86-kilometre circuit.

Rick Kelly was fourth fastest in qualifying earlier today aboard the #15 Jack Daniel’s Commodore, but a sluggish lap in the Top 10 Shootout saw him start from ninth place on the grid.

#15 Jack Daniel's Racing: Rick Kelly
#15 Jack Daniel's Racing: Rick Kelly

Photo by: Chris Von Wieldt

Over the course of the 72-lap race Kelly showed solid pace, displaying encouraging speed and tyre life in the final stint of the race using the soft compound tyres, previously a weakness for the team.

The finish sees Kelly maintain fourth place in the V8 Supercars Championship points standings after 14 of 28 races, the halfway mark of the 2011 season.

Todd Kelly was also on course for a top 10 finish in today’s race, but a slow final pit stop saw him lose ground to come home in 14th place.

Like his brother and team-mate, Todd Kelly’s #7 Jack Daniel’s Commodore showed good pace on both the hard and soft compound tyre today.

Garth Tander won today’s first race of the Sucrogen Townsville 400 ahead of Jamie Whincup and Will Davison. A further 72-lap race will be staged on Sunday.

JACK DANIEL’S RACING QUOTEBOARD

RICK KELLY - #15 Jack Daniel’s Racing Holden Commodore:

“Last time we finished P7 here we were very lucky with our strategy,” said Rick Kelly.

“We actually popped out in third on the road after a pit stop in 2009 and we drifted back to seventh.

“Today we finished seventh because some monkey driver qualified the car badly (laughs).

“I put myself back in ninth in the Shootout and had to fight my way back a bit. I got stuck behind Stevie J (Steven Johnson), who was having a bit more of a struggle than we were in the race.

“By the time clear a couple of guys that we were quicker than, but by the time we did that the guys in front were gone.

“We were quick enough to peg them back a bit, which is very exciting for us, but we were too far back to attack them.

“I'm pretty excited to be honest about the car we've got beneath us on the soft tyre. I think that's the best we've looked after a soft ever at Kelly Racing, which is awesome.

“We're looking forward to tomorrow, especially if I can do a good job in qualifying.”

TODD KELLY - #7 Jack Daniel’s Holden Commodore:

I think we are getting somewhere with the cars.

Todd Kelly

“I was happy with the Jack Daniel's Commodore,” said Todd Kelly.

“It hung in quite well and for the first time at this track in all the braking areas where we would normally struggle I was able to dive in and pass people and race.

“It was quite good. There were two or three things during that race that meant I would fight my way up and then find my way into a drama and lose four or five spots.

“I did that a few times and ended up 14th. If I had a clean race ...

“I think the biggest thing that hurt me was that I went a little bit long into the pit bay in a pit stop. It just took forever and all the cars that I had just passed came out 100 metres in front of me.

“I would have been realistically knocking on the door of getting into the top 10 if we'd had a clean race, which is good from where ever it was I started.

“I think we are getting somewhere with the cars. They hung on to their softs and my car was quite good at the end as well.”

by: jack daniel's racing

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Series V8SUPERCARS
Tags australia, jack daniel's, kelly, v8 supercars