RICK KELLY KEEPS CHAMPIONSHIP ON-TRACK WITH SOLID TOWNSVILLE FINISH
Rick Kelly has kept his championship chase on-track with a solid finish to the Sucrogen Townsville 400 in northern Queensland today.
While the Jack Daniel’s Racing driver did not visit the podium in Townsville, 13th place in Sunday’s race ensured that he kept his points tally ticking over.
Following on from seventh place in Saturday’s race, Rick Kelly maintains fourth place in the 2011 V8 Supercars Championship after 15 of 28 races.
Qualifying ninth on both days also showed that the team has made significant progress on the Townsville street circuit, which has been its toughest track for the past two seasons.
A Safety Car on lap 44 hurt the pit strategy of both Jack Daniel’s Commodores, with Todd Kelly further hampered with suspected bent steering from contact early in the race, finishing in 17th place.
Jamie Whincup won today’s second race of the Sucrogen Townsville 400 ahead of Craig Lowndes and Mark Winterbottom, with 150,876 fans attending the event over three days.
The eighth event of the V8 Supercars Championship season will be the Coates Hire Ipswich 300 at Queensland Raceway on August 19-21.
JACK DANIEL’S RACING QUOTEBOARD
RICK KELLY - #15 Jack Daniel’s Holden Commodore:
“I'm a bit disappointed because I think I could have done a better job this weekend, particularly in both qualifying sessions,” said Rick Kelly.
“That put us back a little in the pack and we got held up by some cars that we had better pace than.
“That's just my fault for not putting us up the front in qualifying.
“I'm pretty happy to still get away from a reasonably bad round with a seventh and a 13th place.
“We still got good points and we're still fourth in the championship.
“A lot of guys that we are dicing with in the championship are still doing silly things out there, getting drive throughs, getting turned around, making the wrong pit calls, and so on.
“If we have a bad round and we've still maintained our championship position that's not too bad.
“We need to go a bit better. The whole race was a bit of a non-event for us but that's part of life.
“The engineering group have done a great job to turn our pace around this weekend but unfortunately I didn’t capitalise on it.”
TODD KELLY - #7 Jack Daniel’s Holden Commodore:
“I was really looking forward to that race,” said Todd Kelly.
“I completely messed up qualifying in the first sector but the rest of the lap was quite good.
“We had a really good Jack Daniel's Commodore yesterday and we were able to press on and pass people in the race.
“Even though we started a fair way back I was quite keen on getting close to the top 10 today, which is where we should have finished yesterday.
“Right from the start of the race the car felt quite vague and I thought 'this is gong to be a long race'. Even though we really didn't do a lot to it, it wasn't the same car as what we had yesterday.
“I don't know what it was, whether I bent the steering on a kerb or something else early on, but it was a pretty long, tough race and with the way the car was it just killed its tyres. It didn't matter how I drove it.
“The only time I passed cars was when people made mistakes and we just didn't have the pace.
“It's a bit disappointing but I'm looking forward to Queensland because we are staring to make some progress and the cars are coming good.”
by: Jack Daniel's Racing