TODD AND RICK KELLY LOOK TO REPEAT PAST SUCCESSES IN DARWIN Jack Daniel's Racing drivers Todd and Rick Kelly are determined to match past performances in the Top End when they take to Hidden Valley Raceway for the SKYCITY Triple Crown in...
TODD AND RICK KELLY LOOK TO REPEAT PAST SUCCESSES IN DARWIN
Jack Daniel's Racing drivers Todd and Rick Kelly are determined to match past performances in the Top End when they take to Hidden Valley Raceway for the SKYCITY Triple Crown in Darwin, NT this weekend.
Todd Kelly is looking to put a run of bad luck behind him in Darwin, where he is a three-time race winner. The 29-year-old's pace at the last event in Tasmania showed that he is more than capable of putting the #7 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore on the podium, scoring fifth place in the Saturday race.
Todd Kelly was then on-track for the team's first podium finish in just the fourth championship event since the new operation's launch before an engine problem ended his charge.
Rick Kelly, who won pole position at Hidden Valley in 2007 and claimed a race win at the 2.9 kilometre circuit in 2004, was also running at the front of the pack in Tasmania before he encountered his own problems.
Both Jack Daniel's Racing drivers have taken confidence from the pace shown in Tasmania and are now looking to turn that car speed into podium finishes at the SKYCITY Triple Crown.
The brothers also agree that the heat and track conditions at Hidden Valley will mean that the new soft 'option' tyre will be a less predictable element in this weekend's two races, where temperatures are expected to top 30 degrees celcius.
JACK DANIEL'S RACING QUOTEBOARD
Rick Kelly - #15 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore:
QUESTION: When you got out of the #15 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodores in Tassie after bad luck denied you a podium, you said you wished Darwin was the next day. Are you confident that you can repeat the pace from Symmons Plains up at Hidden Valley, given that the temperatures and conditions will be so massively different?
"Absolutely," said Rick Kelly.
"As a team, we're frustrated with the results we had from Tasmania but extremely excited to head to Darwin knowing that we had a car that was capable of the lap record at Symmons and also definitely capable of a podium finish as far as speed was concerned.
"If we can carry that into Darwin, we will be heading there with as good a shot as anyone.
"For such an early point in the Kelly Racing history, that is fantastic and we need to keep moving forward at the same pace we have been so far to put those Jack Daniel's Commodores up the front.
QUESTION: The track is a popular one, but temperatures are always a factor. Do you have any idea how the heat will effect the Dunlop soft 'option' tyre?
"Temperatures are going to be a big thing for everyone because of the new compound tyre.
"At Symmons, the soft tyre lasted for a very long time and we were capable of doing 40 or 50 laps on the same set of soft tyres, which is fantastic.
"But heading into Darwin it's very hot and it's a different track surface again, so it could mean that the new tyres might fly to bits in five or 10 laps. It's hard to tell.
"So the biggest change from Winton and Tassie, and therefore the biggest unknown, is the heat and how that will effect the soft tyres.
"The temperatures for the drivers in the cars are something that we've dealt with for many years. When we get to Darwin we know what it's like and accept it. Hopefully from our point of view we are a little fitter than the other drivers and we will cope with the heat a little better.
"Darwin, for us, is almost a holiday because it's a great place to go and it's a place we all really enjoy. Heading up there we are really relaxed and the event creates a great atmosphere. The organisers' put on a fantastic show for the whole week.
"We are really looking forward to it, going from Tassie right at the bottom of Australia to Darwin right at the top. It just highlights the diversity and the challenges that we have in V8 Supercars."
Todd Kelly - #7 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore:
"I'm certainly looking forward to getting to Darwin, especially at this time of year as it's great to get out of Melbourne to a place with some warmth," said Todd Kelly.
"I've had some success there over the years, but not in the last couple of years, so I'm really keen to try and get back to the form that we had there in 2004 and 2005.
"We know we can do it there but the track obviously drops off in grip level year-by-year and depending on what time of year and what temperature it is, the cars usually behave a little differently there.
"The car was really good at Symmons Plains. We're still working to improve what we had there and hopefully we have similar pace in Darwin and try and get our first trophy for 2009 for the Jack Daniel's Commodores."