Jack Daniel's Racing duo primed for Clipsal 500

For the first time, the Saturday race will be split into two 125km long segments, ensuring a change of attitude from the drivers, and an all-new perspective for fans trackside.

The Jack Daniel's Racing duo of Rick and Todd Kelly are primed for this weekend's Clipsal 500, with off season developments to the team's Nissan Altimas putting the pair in a solid position for the revamped event.

For the first time, the Saturday race will be split into two 125km long segments, ensuring a change of attitude from the drivers, and an all-new perspective for fans trackside.

Todd and Rick Kelly
Todd and Rick Kelly

Photo by: Jack Daniels Racing

The weekend marks the first anniversary for Nissan Motorsport's return to the premiere level of Australian motorsport, and with a full season of development under their belts, the Kelly brothers are looking for an improved showing in the concrete canyon.

The event will see the first race meeting appearance of the Altima's new-for 2014 body kit, which provided Todd and Rick with the second and third quickest overall times at the recent official test day at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Practice for the Clipsal 500 commences on the streets of Adelaide at 10:15am on Friday

TODD KELLY - #7 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima

"It's always hard to know how the test day relates to how our year's going to pan out," said Todd Kelly.

"There's always the quality of tyres that's an unknown, and really too many variables to read too far into it.

"It's certainly an exciting time for the team, we've done a huge amount of work through the off-season, in particular with our aero kit, and we know that it's got less aero drag than last year's car, so we should be faster up the straights.

"The cars are good, the team is fantastic, the reliability was good at the end of the year, and there are a lot of upgrades in the car. I just can't wait to get stuck into it and have a really solid start for the team."

On the format change with twin-125km races on Saturday-

"The change in format will make it a lot easier than what we were used to, having two races with a break in between, you can ease back into it a little bit more, that will usually prepare us for Sunday a bit better," said Todd Kelly.

"Normally you are a little bit second hand by the end of the Saturday race, so hopefully that won't be as bad this year.

"All of the guys have trained quite hard this year in the off season, so we think either way we should be looking pretty good.

"You will certainly be able to push a lot harder, and the racing will be a lot tougher on Saturday."

RICK KELLY - #15 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima

"The test day for us certainly looked good on paper, we were in the top-three all day long," said Rick Kelly.

"We had very strong pace in the wet, and very strong pace in the dry.

"What does that mean for us? In my opinion, it means nothing. We don't know what tyres everyone was on, there were very changeable weather conditions, some people got a run, some people didn't.

"I would have said we had a very solid run at our first test day last year, and it wasn't until later in the season that we really started to get on top of the car.

"For us, we're not hanging our hat on the test day result, we're obviously happy with the way the it went, but from now we need to build on the knowledge of what our car's doing from Clipsal and the rounds following that."

On the split race Saturday

"The Saturday race will be split into two, which is probably a bit easier from a driver's point of view, but the thing that will add a level of difficulty is actually the fact that the second race on the Saturday finishes very late," said Rick Kelly.

"What that's going to create is a really unique and exciting atmosphere, the sun starts to set, the cars will be a little bit louder, and you start to see the brakes glow red as the light dissipates in the background.

"Certainly later in the evening there will be a very good atmosphere for the fans. From the team's point of view, it creates the challenge of having to settle down after the race, cool down with a drink, have a de-brief, and work out what you are going to do with the car.

"By the time you do all that, it's going to be quite late on the Saturday night."

Jack Daniel's Racing

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Series V8SUPERCARS
Article type Previews
Tags nissan altima, rick kelly, todd kelly, v8supercars