Hidden Valley: Jack Daniel's Racing preview

TODD AND RICK KELLY SEEK FURTHER DARWIN VICTORIES Jack Daniel's Racing team-mates Todd and Rick Kelly have their sights set on further success at Hidden Valley Raceway ahead of the SKYCITY Triple Crown in Darwin, Northern Territory this ...

TODD AND RICK KELLY SEEK FURTHER DARWIN VICTORIES

Jack Daniel's Racing team-mates Todd and Rick Kelly have their sights set on further success at Hidden Valley Raceway ahead of the SKYCITY Triple Crown in Darwin, Northern Territory this weekend.

The brothers are aiming to make Darwin a turning point in the team's season, coming off the back of the team's first pole position at the last event at Winton in Victoria last month.

Since that pole winning performance from Rick Kelly, the team has worked hard to further develop the Jack Daniel's Racing Commodores as the squad aims to continue to achieve impressive results and rise to the next level.

As the Kelly brothers seek to step up results for their young team, they visit a circuit where both have impressive form in past visits.

Todd Kelly is a two-time overall winner of the Darwin event, with three race wins and three front row qualifying performances at Hidden Valley in nine appearances at the Northern Territory venue.

Rick Kelly has a pole position and a race win to his name in Darwin and last season ran in second position for much of the Sunday race before finishing in fourth place.

JACK DANIEL'S RACING QUOTEBOARD

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

"In Melbourne it has been raining and not much more than 10 degrees for the last couple of weeks, so I think our entire team is very excited to be heading to Darwin to enjoy the warm weather," said Rick Kelly.

"It's one of my favourite events of the year and one that I always try to get to a little bit early, or stay a little bit later, which Todd and I will be doing this year when we go fishing with some of our friends from Jack Daniel's after the event.

"I'm happy to be heading to Darwin off the back of the results from Winton, which was definitely a step forward for us in terms of being the first pole for the team. We are all quite excited about Darwin.

"It's an event we've put in a lot of work for and we're going to attack it pretty hard. Last year we were unlucky not to finish second there and we just lost out on a late Safety Car. The car speed in qualifying is something that we still need to work on and we've put a lot of work in on that area of our cars."

On the use of soft tyres in Sunday's race ...

"If there was no Safety Car to worry about, no doubt you would use it at the start to get track position and then swap to hard tyres," said Rick Kelly.

"I think if you are going to qualify in the top half of the field then you get pressured into using them at the start of the race - not too many people don't start on them if you're in the top 15.

"The problem with that is there can be a Safety Car late in the race and people that are not that competitive can stay out and hope for that, because it's not highly likely but it is possible, so if you're not competitive you wait for a yellow, chuck your softs on when it happens and you can come through and win.

"That's something that I don't like about one set of softs for the race because it can hand the race win to someone in that circumstance. So for us we just need to read it as best we can. That uncertainty you just can't plan for."

TODD KELLY - #7 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore:

"It was a little bit of a turning point for us at Winton with Rick's pole and we've had a great test day since then as well," said Todd Kelly.

"From Darwin, right through to the end of the year, we have some tracks where I've gone well in the past and places where we ran well last year, so both for me personally and for the team as a whole we are aiming to achieve better results in the second half of the season.

"While the cancellation of the Perth race was very unfortunate, we've been able to use that time to do a heap of work in the break between Winton and Darwin.

"We've certainly had a little bit more time to make things happen, which is why we've got some of new things on all of our cars for Darwin.

"Rick and I have even been able to fit in a ski race, which we didn't think we would be able to do when we planned out the calendar at the start of the year.

"It's good to get some good weather at this time of year. I like the heat a lot more than the cold and it drives me mad being in Melbourne in winter, so as soon as I get off the plane in Darwin I'm a lot happier person.

"The Hidden Valley track is great and Darwin is just a great place. We are doing a fishing trip with Jack Daniel's after the weekend and that's going to be a lot of fun. It's one of those places that you really look forward to going to and it's a good circuit to race on as well."

KEY FACTS:

- Kelly brothers have winning history in Darwin ...

* Todd Kelly was the overall round winner of the Hidden Valley event in both 2004 and 2005

* In both 2004 and 2005 the Kelly family won two of the three races held, with Todd and Rick scoring one win each in 2004 and Todd taking two races wins in 2005

* Rick Kelly enters the SKYCITY Triple Crown having scored the fifth pole position of his career on Sunday at Winton Motor Raceway, the first Armor All Pole Award for the Kelly Racing operation

* Rick Kelly has also scored a pole position in Darwin, topping qualifying at the 2.87-kilometre circuit in 2007

* Todd Kelly has qualified second in the grid in Darwin on three occasions and was in the top five in both qualifying sessions in his #7 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore last season

- Soft tyres back to 'Wildcard' status in Darwin ...

* The soft-compound Dunlop 'option' tyre will return to 'Wildcard Status' at the SKYCITY Triple Crown in Darwin

* After races at the two previous events at Queensland Raceway and Winton Motor Raceway were conducted solely on the soft tyre, at Hidden Valley Raceway teams will be given just one set of option tyres per car, which have to be used during the Sunday race

-source: Jack Daniel's Racing

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Rick Kelly , Todd Kelly