Bahrain: Holden Racing Team Saturday report

Kelly storms to Desert 400 podium with race three victory in Bahrain Skaife mounts strong fight back to grab sixth for round Todd Kelly has taken his fourth podium finish in five rounds by finishing second in the inaugural Desert 400 at the ...

Kelly storms to Desert 400 podium with race three victory in Bahrain
Skaife mounts strong fight back to grab sixth for round

Todd Kelly has taken his fourth podium finish in five rounds by finishing second in the inaugural Desert 400 at the Bahrain International Circuit, while teammate Mark Skaife has stormed back through the field to finish sixth.

Kelly had an improved #22 Commodore today and started strongly with a fourth place in the opening 37 lap race.

Despite a slightly slow start and being passed by James Courtney into the opening corner, he managed to come out of the tight hairpin in fourth spot after Courtney spun.

Mark Winterbottom managed to get by Kelly and push him back to fifth before Todd pitted at the end of lap six.

A small stall exiting his pit bay cost the #22 Commodore a small amount of time, though he was able to leapfrog Craig Lowndes when the Falcon driver pitted a lap later.

Like yesterday, Kelly then had a lonely race and race home fourth behind Garth Tander, Jason Bright and Winterbottom.

In the final race he settled into fifth place in the early laps, though inherited a spot when Tander was forced to pit for a drivethrough penalty due to jumping the start.

Kelly made a move to pass Winterbottom and hunted down Bright, stealing the lead on lap six when the Ford driver ran wide on the exit of one of the track's winding sweepers.

From there he ran out the rest of the race in command and crossed the win to win from Bright and Lowndes, good enough for second overall for the weekend.

Things again didn't pan out initially for Mark Skaife in the #2 Commodore. He dropped a few positions in the push and shove match that occurred at the opening few corners on lap one of the opening race.

Shuffled back to ninth, Skaife was involved in contact that spun Paul Dumbrell's Jack Daniel's car on lap four. It earnt him a drivethrough penalty and he was forced to th simply press on and finish 19 . But Skaife was in scintillating form in the final 37lapper as he flew through the field, taking 10 positions on the first lap alone. With an improved #2 Commodore that had pace to burn, Skaife continued to carve through the field and was sixth by the time he pitted on lap 11.

With Jamie Whincup blowing an engine, Skaife moved to fourth and held the spot to the end, unable to make an impression on Lowndes, though still left with a performance that netted him 15 positions.

The Holden Racing Team will now pack up their cars and equipment for the plane journey back to Australia and the season finale at Phillip Island in a fortnight's time.

HRT QUOTEBOOK

Todd Kelly (#22 Holden Racing Team Commodore VZ)

"The track was a little bit better today than yesterday but I'd say it was 50 percent the car and 50 percent the track in terms of the overall improvement. It really took us too long this weekend to get a handle on the setup, but I had an enjoyable fight with Brighty in the last race. We didn't swap too much paint and ran side by side and swapped spots for nearly threequarters of a lap. The last race was the most comfortable of the weekend and the tyres weren't too much of a worry."

Mark Skaife (#2 Holden Racing Team Commodore VZ)

"In the final race I went to the outside into the first corner and, in some respects that can be a bit of a bold move. Sometimes you get away with it and sometimes you don't but things worked out in that race. When the biff and barge started I was away from it, but it was the opposite in race two. I got stuck in it on that occasion. I used up the car in the last race to get as far up the field as we got and it wasn't fast enough to make up any more spots or go any further."

-credit: hrt

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers James Courtney , Garth Tander , Jason Bright , Mark Skaife , Craig Lowndes , Jamie Whincup , Todd Kelly , Mark Winterbottom
Teams Holden Racing Team