TODD AND RICK KELLY GOING ALL OUT FOR BATHURST SUCCESS
Jack Daniel's Racing team-mates and Bathurst winning brothers Todd and Rick Kelly are determined to go all out for success at the Supercheap Auto Bathurt 1000 at the classic Mount Panorama circuit this weekend.
Rick Kelly and co-driver Owen Kelly (no relation) finished in a fine fourth place at the L&H 500 at Phillip Island last month, the first endurance event of the season.
But both Rick and Owen feel that their #15 Jack Daniel's Commodore was capable of even stronger results and the pairing is aiming to stand on the podium at Bathurst this weekend.
Todd Kelly qualified in the Top 10 Shootout at Bathurst last year when paired with brother Rick for only the second time.
It was a stirring performance from the Kelly Brothers in the #7 Jack Daniel's Commodore in the 2009 edition of The Great Race, running in contention for the race win with a wounded car until the final few laps, dropping from second place to eighth.
This year Todd will aim to bounce back from the heartbreak of last year's run with young gun Dale Wood as his co-driver, with Wood also full-time employee of the team as its sign writer and graphic designer.
Todd and Rick Kelly formed Kelly Racing at the start of the 2009 season and while so far they have scored three podium finishes and won two qualifying races at the Phillip Island event, they are still chasing the first win for their new team.
JACK DANIEL'S RACING QUOTEBOARD:
RICK KELLY - #15 Jack Daniel's Holden Commodore
"We were really upset with fourth at Phillip Island to be honest because we had a car that could win," said Rick Kelly.
"We have learned from that and we've been pretty hard on ourselves looking at the mistakes we made at Phillip Island and we're going to make sure we don't make those same mistakes at Bathurst.
"You don't go to Bathurst thinking 'we could win' or 'we could do this or that'. We are going there to get the most out of ourselves. That's the biggest thing. If we do that then we have definitely got a shot at winning.
"It's also about reacting to the issues of the race as they come up because it doesn't go to plan, it never does. It is too long a race to go entirely to plan.
"So we've just got to make sure that we react to those dramas as they happen. If we do that and get the most out of ourselves, we'll be up there."
OWEN KELLY - #15 Jack Daniel's Holden Commodore
"I think we can improve on our Phillip Island performance at Bathurst and we showed we had good car speed," said Owen Kelly.
"Rick and I were a good combination and worked well together and I think we can definitely work on the strategy to get that right.
"Experience at Bathurst gives you good confidence. Rick and I are working well together and we even fit in the car well.
"Phillip Island was a good warm-up for us and Bathurst is the big picture obviously so we're pretty fired up and keen to do well this weekend."
DAVID SWENSON - Race Engineer, #15 Jack Daniel's Holden Commodore
"We were disappointed with fourth at Phillip Island," said David Swenson.
"We thought we had the pace, the car and the two drivers to finish on the podium so we are going to take that on to Bathurst, where we performed well last year.
"Potentially we had a podium run last year and we are reasonably confident that we can carry that forward to this weekend, but you never do know for sure at Bathurst.
"Going into Bathurst you cannot be overly confident. We are taking the same car to Bathurst that we had last year and we know it was fast last year.
"Obviously qualifying will be different as your main drivers are not paired up anymore, so getting into the Shootout is going to be a lot more difficult to what it used to be.
"We are quietly confident but it's really a different race this year. It's really a new race every year you go there so we will just have to see what happens and be ready."
TODD KELLY - #7 Jack Daniel's Holden Commodore
"We've gone back to a standard kind of a set-up in my Jack Daniel's Commodore for Bathurst," said Todd Kelly.
"Our cars are always very quick there so we're looking forward to having a really good weekend.
"Everyone in our team has done a good job with the preparation and it's as good as it could possibly be.
"We've got a few really good chances of getting cars on the podium within our team so everyone is really excited about Bathurst."
DALE WOOD - #7 Jack Daniel's Holden Commodore
"There is a lot of preparation that goes into this race - that's no secret," said Dale Wood.
"We've had a three-hour meeting with all the drivers and engineers just about the plan for Bathurst in terms of strategies and set-ups.
"We have all done a fitness test to make sure all the drivers are in good shape and it's all part of a lot of preparation for this event.
"The boys in the workshop have put massive hours in to make sure we leave no stone unturned before we hit the track.
"I'm really looking forward to it and I'm confident we can put together a great weekend in the #7 Jack Daniel's Commodore.
"Similar to at Phillip Island, but without the qualifying races on the Saturday, Todd has the most important role at Bathurst.
"He is the one that is going to win the race and it's my job to keep giving the car back to him in a good position and with the car in a good state so that he can press on and hopefully come home with a podium finish."
JAMES SMALL - Race Engineer, #7 Jack Daniel's Holden Commodore
"The big difference this year in terms of race strategy is that for the first time at Bathurst we have this Co-Driver situation," said James Small.
"Our fastest driver in the #7 Jack Daniel's Commodore is Todd and we will work to get him in the car at the right times relative to the field to try and maintain our track position and get in a good position for the end.
"I would hope that we can have the same pace we showed at Bathurst last year but it is definitely going to be a lot harder to make the Top 10 Shootout again with all the full-time drivers in their own cars.
"We're going to pull out all stops to try and get more than one car in the Shootout, and that's something we really couldn't do last year, so as a team we're doing everything we can to make this our best race yet."
-source: kelly racing