Mechanical Problems End Great Runs For Both Jack Daniel’s Commodores
Mechanical problems ended the chances for both Jack Daniel’s Commodores in the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 in Mount Panorama in New South Wales today.
The #7 Jack Daniel’s Commodore was the first to have its chances dashed. After an encouraging opening stint by Todd Kelly, co-driver David Russell showed great pace to move the car up into the top 10.
But on lap 71 Russell was forced to come into the Jack Daniel’s Racing pit garage, with the drive pegs sheered off the left rear hub. As a new hub and axle was fitted, several laps were lost, ending the team’s chances after a promising start.
The #15 Jack Daniel’s Commodore had a steady start to the race, pacing itself in the midfield in the longest race of the season.
After a long stint from Owen Kelly, Rick Kelly jumped behind the wheel, using strong car speed and sound pit strategy to move into the top 10.
As the final round of pit stops approached Rick Kelly was in fourth place and poised to challenge for a podium finish in the final stint, but he was one of several cars delayed by Jamie Whincup’s ailing car, which was limping across the top of the mountain.
Falling to ninth, Rick Kelly was denied the chance to challenge for a top five finishing position with an oil leak in the rear of the car. After two pit stops to fix the problem, the #15 Jack Daniel’s Commodore was two laps down, finishing in 22nd place.
Rick Kelly falls to sixth in the 2011 V8 Supercars Championship after today’s finish, entering the Armor All Gold Coast 600 on the Surfers Paradise street circuit in Queensland in two weeks time on October 21-23.
Rick Kelly will be joined by German sportscar driver Jorg Bergmeister on the Gold Coast, while Todd Kelly will be partnered by Richard Westbrook of England.
Garth Tander and Nick Percat won today’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 ahead of Craig Lowndes and Mark Skaife, with Kelly Racing’s #11 Pepsi Max Commodore of Greg Murphy and Allan Simonsen grabbing third place after scoring pole yesterday.
JACK DANIEL’S RACING QUOTEBOARD
RICK KELLY - #15 Jack Daniel’s Holden Commodore:
“We had a struggle in the first half of the race and it took a little bit for me to get confidence back that I had in the car from the start of the weekend because it just wasn’t there this morning,” said Rick Kelly.
“Once we made a change in the actual race it started to come on really well and the guys did an awesome job with the strategy.
“I was out with a lot of the co-drivers and we plucked them off until we got right up there. We had a short stop and a different strategy to everyone.
“It put us fourth and our pace was pretty good as well. We were quicker than the guys in front but the Jamie Whincup fiasco cost us a lot of time and I went from fourth to ninth.
“Then we had a drama with an oil leak problem and those things cost us a good result at the end of the day.
“It's a disappointing thing. You don’t want to come to Bathurst and leave with such a poor result for the Jack Daniel's Racing garage.
“It's hurt our championship considerably. We've dropped to sixth now and it’s going to be very difficult in the last four events to get back to somewhere more respectable. It's very disappointing.
“On the other side of things the Kelly Racing garage has done an awesome job all weekend. For Murph to qualify on pole and walk away with a podium is an outstanding achievement for our race team and full credit to Allan (Simonsen), Murph and the whole team.”
OWEN KELLY - #15 Jack Daniel’s Holden Commodore:
“Our strategy was working really nicely and it put us in fourth,” said Owen Kelly.
“That Safety Car on lap 85 was perfect for us. It was when I was getting out of the car to get Rick back in until the end.
“It was all working great and then the whole Whincup thing screwed us over.
“We had an oil issue after that as well. At one point there it was looking really good.”
TODD KELLY - #7 Jack Daniel’s Holden Commodore:
“Our team had extremely fast cars and there were points during the race where all of them could have been on the podium,” said Todd Kelly.
“We had four good cars after the first couple of stints we dialed them in for the conditions today.
“There were even a few things in Murph's race that went quite badly and he managed to still get through it and do his Murph thing and do an unbelievable job and claw his way back up to the podium.
“It's an awesome job for Murph, Allan and the whole Kelly Racing crew to be able to do that.
“It's just disappointing for the other three full-time cars. They were all capable of big things in the race after we got through that first couple of stints to press on up the front.
“Different things went wrong with each car. There was an oil drama with Rick's car, the drive pegs sheered off on the left rear on my car and Reynolds had an alternator drama on his car - all those problems came at points where that car was in the top 10.
“Today I had one of the best cars I’ve ever driven around here. We made quite a big change in one of ‘Coighty’s’ (David Russell) pit stops and it completely transformed the #7 Jack Daniel’s Commodore.
“We had three sets of new green tyres sitting in the rack ready to come home with so it was on for sure.
“We were well inside the top 10 with all that up our sleeve, so it's pretty devastating to sit there and see the thing get wheeled into the garage and just watch the laps keep ticking over.
“It's a shame on one side but it's awesome for Murph and his guys. The Pepsi Max Crew is pretty happy with pole position and that podium result.”
DAVID RUSSELL - #7 Jack Daniel’s Holden Commodore:
“It started to roll out pretty well,” said David Russell.
“Todd did a great first stint and I pushed hard in my two stints to ensure that I took full advantage on trying to pounce on the other co-drivers, which we managed to do and get up into the top 10.
“Unfortunately we had dramas with the drive pegs on the left rear axle. We had to fix that and that put us out of contention
“As I look at the results I wonder what could have been.”