Consistency delivers more top 10s for Nissan Motorsport at Pukekohe Park

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The Nissan Motorsport drivers moved up or maintained their positions in the championship.

Nissan Motorsport has scored another haul of top 10 finishes at Pukekohe Park in New Zealand today.

Nissan factory drivers Rick Kelly and James Moffat both bagged a 10th place finish each in today's two races, adding to their seventh and ninth place finish in yesterday's final race.

James Moffat, Team Norton Nissan
James Moffat, Team Norton Nissan

Photo by: Edge Photographics

Kelly and Moffat's results, along with a consistent run from their team-mates Todd Kelly and Michael Caruso, points towards a positive future for the new Nissan Altima V8 Supercar.

Across the four races at the refurbished Pukekohe track, the four Nissan drivers finished inside the top 15 on every occasion except one, where Michael Caruso took 16th place in the final race (hampered by a gearbox problem).

The Nissan Motorsport drivers also moved up or maintained their positions in the championship as well, with Rick Kelly now running 13th, James Moffat 15th, Michael Caruso 22nd and Todd Kelly 27th.

The next event of the V8 Supercars Championship will be held at Perth's Barbagallo Raceway in three weeks time. The race meeting will see the second running of the new 60/60 SuperSprint race format.

James Moffat (#360 Norton 360 Nissan Altima - Championship position: 15th): "It was pretty solid weekend, apart from the silly mistake I made in race 1 which cost us a few positions,"

"I'm happy enough with today. Obviously, we always want more, but to salvage a top 10 in the last race was a decent result.

"We know we still have a bit of work to do, but I'm very proud of all the guys. There was a transmission change between races for Michael's car, and it was all hands on deck.

"We made some changes to our #360 Altima, and it sharpened it up, but it wasn't enough to go with the lead bunch. We stayed out of trouble, bagged a solid bunch of points and now we move onto Barbagallo."

Rick Kelly (#15 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima - Championship position: 13th): “It’s a really strong improvement from the last round, I think we finished 10th overall for the weekend on points and that for us is fantastic,” Rick Kelly said.

“I didn’t maximise the car in qualifying and unfortunately we paid for it in that last race. We ran 10th in the first one and capitalised on others’ mistakes. We moved from 20th to 15th which was really good, but I think if I could have got the car up into around 10th in qualifying, I’m pretty sure we could have stayed around that.

“I’m disappointed in myself for that, but it’s something really good for us to work on going forward. I need to get the most out of the car in qualifying and maximise it in the race.

“All in all we’ve got to be really happy with the weekend, it’s a strong improvement from last time, we’re running with cars we couldn’t at the last round, and we’ve just to keep chipping away as we’ve been doing.”

Todd Kelly (#7 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima, Championship position: 27th): “Starting back round 20th is tough round here, it’s a hard place to pass, but we actually got the car half reasonable then in that last race,” Todd Kelly said.

“It wasn’t too bad to drive, very hard to pass again, really in all the passing areas we’re trying to make up the ground that we lose in other places, but I made a change to the bars inside the car with 10 laps to go and the car really came on and was quite good.

“I just couldn’t quite get close enough to have a dive at Russell (Ingall), but overall where we ended up for the weekend with the car is quite promising, it’s just a shame we didn’t get on to that set up a little bit earlier.”

Michael Caruso (#36 Norton 360 Nissan Altima - Championship position: 22nd): "We were lucky to be out in that last race – it's a total credit to the Nissan Motorsport crew for getting me out there," said Caruso.

"We only just made it out. They were seconds away from shutting down pit lane. It's a credit to them.

"We tried a lot of things this weekend, and we're learning. We're building our data base, so when we're in a position to challenge for race wins, we'll be very competitive."

Nissan Motorsport

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About this article
Series V8SUPERCARS
Article type Race report
Tags caruso, kelly, moffat, new zealand, nissan, pukekohe park, v8supercars