Insights with Rick Kelly: Breaking down a whole weekend

In this week’s column, V8 Supercars driver/team owner/TV personality Rick Kelly takes your through a comprehensive break-down of what a race weekend looks like for him.

Settle in, folks. This is a big one. Here’s a rundown of what we go through on a fairly busy race weekend…

Thursday

3:30am – Woke up. Not much fun.

6:00am – After grabbing a quick bite in the Virgin Lounge, we’re off to Townsville via a quick plane swap in Brisbane. Touchdown at 11:30am and organise rental cars

12:00pm –Arrived at the circuit and headed to the catering tent for make-your-own sandwiches

12:30pm – Filmed a video on safety for our partners OneSteel

1:00pm – Caught up with my endurance co-driver Dave Russell, and gave PR quotes for his announcement

1:30pm – Setup my workspace in the trailer, plug everything in, and got my GoPros setup for the weekend

2:00pm – Track walk. First chance for Dave to meet our engineers. Inspected the track changes, including the new concrete run off at turn 5.

3:00pm – Soaked ice vest, headed off to the hotel and set my kit up

4:45pm – Fan signing session at the Barracks Redevelopment

6:00pm – Appearance at Parry Nissan, who organised a sausage sizzle

7:30pm – Dinner

8:30pm – Bed

Friday

6:15am – Leave hotel

6:30am – Breakfast

7:15am – Radio interview in the garage

7:30am – Planning briefing with all of the drivers and engineers. Good chance to make clear what everyone is going to be doing throughout the day

8:15am – Practice 1, very early start on a very dirty track. Being a temporary circuit there is practically no rubber down, so we had to keep track condition changes in mind when setting the car up

10:45am – Practice 2, coming to grips with the circuit, as it’s a tricky one to master. After every time I am in the car, I debrief with my engineers, look at data, and fill in details of my thoughts on a track map

12:00pm – Lunch in the garage

12:45pm – Practice 3, unfortunately cut short after we overheated and got some oil onto the exhaust. Could have limped it back, but thought it was better to shut it off. This meant we couldn’t take advantage of our new practice tyre set, which set us back for the weekend. Engine changed quickly by the crew

2:30pm – Visited the V8 Paddock Club for a Q&A session

3:50pm – Todd and myself were nominated for the meeting rides

4:15pm – GoPro flying lap filming

5:00pm – Engineering meeting

5:45pm – Driver’s briefing

6:00pm – Dinner, pasta night, which was excellent. The Rock and Race was in full swing in the SuperTent right behind the catering tent. The bass from Illy literally had the tent shaking.

8:30pm – Bed

Saturday

6:30am – Leave hotel

6:45am – Team meeting and pit stop practice, always good to keep an eye on how the guys are going

7:15am – Breakfast

7:45am – Autograph signing session at the Nissan activation, which featured the NP300 Navara and GT Academy 370Z

8:15am – Engineering meeting

9:10am – Final practice, was a good chance to try some things out after our Friday was cut short

10:30am – Fan signing at the back of the garages. Because of the busy schedule, there was no True Colour Track Walk at this event

11:00am – Recorded the voice over for the GoPro hot lap at the TV compound

11:15am – Nissan staff and customer meet and greet in the garage

11:45am – Lunch, meatball sub and a banana

12:00pm – Channel 10 live cross for the opener in the paddock. Struggled through the weekend without a voice, which wasn’t ideal

12:35pm – Channel 10 pre-record in garage

1:10pm – Qualifying, not great, set the 16th fastest time

2:30pm – Visited the corporate suite

3:15pm – Channel 10 cross in garage

3:53pm – Cars roll out. When we are parked up on the grid, I tend to head back to the garage to get myself focussed away from the crowds

4:18pm – Race. A bit up and down. Had good enough pace through the most part, but the final stint cost us, and we had to settle for 16th

6:00pm – Race finish, chat to the engineers, PR quotes, get changed and head to catering for dinner. Mexican night is a hit. Birds of Tokyo played next door in the SuperTent

7:00pm – Engineering debrief

8:30pm - Bed

Sunday

7:15am – Leave hotel, almost like a sleep in! Fortunately we stayed close to the track, and there are no real traffic dramas

7:30am – Team meeting and pit stop practice. The Jack Daniel’s car was used, as the boys alternate between the 7 and 15 cars each day. The cars are pushed in to the pit stall, and drills for different scenarios were practiced, such as double stacking

7:30am – Breakfast

8:10am – Merchandise signing

8:45am – Engineering meeting

9:05am – Autograph signing session at the back of the garage

10:35am – Qualifying, still haven’t got the best out of the car, starting 18th

11:35am – Driver parade in some cool old pickup trucks

12:15pm – Lunch – mini pizzas in garage

12:30 – Meet and greet with James Warburton and Queensland State MP Kate Jones

12:50pm – Channel 10 pre-record segment

1:25pm – I didn’t make the top-ten shootout, but I followed closely as TK made the cut, and put in a solid effort

2:15pm – A meet and greet and garage tour with Jack Daniel’s staff and customers. They also went onto the grid before the race, and watched it from inside the garage with headsets listening the radio communications

3:05pm – Channel 10 pre-record in the garage

3:48pm – Roll out

4:18pm – Race start. Similar deal to the opening race, lacked pace and had to settle for 16th. Pleasing though to remain in the Top 10 in the standings

6:00pm – All over red rover. Pack up, and think about how we are going to improve for our next visit here

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About this article
Series Supercars
Event Townsville
Track Townsville
Drivers Rick Kelly
Teams Nissan Motorsports
Article type Analysis