Moffat took pole for today’s 200km race, Nissan’s first in the V8 Supercars Championship.
Norton Nissan driver James Moffat made history for Nissan Motorsport with pole position – and almost scored a podium result – at Queensland Raceway today.
Moffat took pole for today’s 200km race, Nissan’s first in the V8 Supercars Championship, before finishing fifth at the 3.1km Ipswich circuit.
It is the team’s second pole for 2014, however, Michael Caruso’s pole came in the non-championship event at Albert Park.
Moffat was fourth on the final lap and tried an ambitious passing attempt on Chaz Mostert at Turn 3, only to end up in the sand trap. He recovered to take fifth place – his best race result for the 2014 season.
Moffat’s Norton team-mate Michael Caruso finished eighth, but was unlucky not to have placed higher after running out of fuel on the final straight.
The fuel issue meant that he lost a spot to Nick Percat right on the finish line.
Jack Daniel’s Nissan drivers Rick and Todd Kelly finished down in 14th and 21st, but both were pleased with the pace of their cars.
Rick Kelly was on for a top 10 result, only to have a minor off-road excursion that cost him a handful of places.
Todd Kelly rued a bad qualifying result, plus an off-track moment of his own, to eventually come home 21st.
The next event on the V8 Supercars Championship will be at Sydney Motorsport Park on August 23-24.
#360 James Moffat, Norton Nissan Altima
Race 25 Qualifying: 1st
Race 25 Result: 5th
“Pole was a big highlight, not only for me personally, but for the team as well. It’s the first championship pole for Nissan since coming back, so that’s a great achievement for everyone,” said James Moffat. Our car was excellent in the first stint of the race and I thought we were on for a pretty good day.
“In the middle stint, we came out in some traffic and just battled a bit for car balance. In the last stint, we knew we’d jump[ some people because it was a shorter fuel stop, and the balance of the car was better, but we were still battling in the slow speed corners.
“At the end with Chaz, it was the last lap and we were having a go for third. I’d rather have a go for third and have it not come off than not have a go at all. It was disappointing that we dropped a spot and finished fifth, but it wound up being a pretty good day, considering where we were running yesterday. It goes without saying that we have to keep this momentum going towards the endurance races – a time of year that I really enjoy the most.”
#36 Michael Caruso, Norton Nissan Altima
Race 25 Qualifying: 7th
Race 25 Result: 8th
“It was a shame to drop a spot at the end, right on the line,” said Michael Caruso. I didn’t get the call from the crew right until the final lap that I was going to run out of fuel. To do 65 laps flat out and find out so late that we were in trouble was tough to swallow. I know seventh place isn’t everything, but I had a good battle with Nick (Percat) for the place during the race. It was a fun out there.
“Overall, it has obviously been an encouraging weekend for the team, and I’m looking forward to getting back in the car in a couple of weeks at Eastern Creek.”
Rick Kelly, #15 Jack Daniel’s Nissan Altima
Race 25 Qualifying: 11th
Race 25 Result: 15th
“Unfortunately it was sometimes a little uneventful out there for me, especially when there are no safety cars”, said Rick Kelly. We got off to a reasonable start, the guys gave me a strategy to come out with a set of green tyres at the end.
“I thought I had some more grip than what I did, and I went off at Turn 3 and lost probably five spots. We should have finished ninth, and we wound up 15th, so unfortunately it was a silly mistake by me which cost us a pretty damn solid result, which probably would have been our second top 10 of the weekend.
“I’m a bit upset at myself for that, but we made some changes to the car today to change some handling traits that we’ve had all weekend, and I really think we managed to do that and make some good progress. Unfortunately everyone else seemed to make some pretty good progress overnight as well.
“After I made the mistake we still had good pace, I was racing with Tim Slade who drove a really solid race and didn’t put a foot wrong, so that was the best we could do. On to the next one which should be a good one for us, I’m looking forward to that.”
Todd Kelly, #7 Jack Daniel’s Nissan Altima
Race 25 Qualifying: 19th
Race 25 Result: 21st
“It’s funny to say this, but I actually had a grin on my face for most of that race,” said Todd Kelly. The car was unbelievable, we changed it a little bit for qualifying, and we didn’t really get the most out of it, and we went quite a bit further with it for the race, and it just hooked it up.
“I then made a change to the (anti-roll) bars late in the race on older tyres, when a lot of other guys were on greens, and we were one of the fastest cars on the track. So it really hooked up there towards the end, it’s just a shame I didn’t put qualifying together with that setup change, and I also had a lap where the brakes went right to the floor, and I couldn’t pull it up before Turn 3 and I lost a lot of time.
“It was a bad day results wise, but a good day with what we’ve found in the car, and I can’t wait to get to the next round to see how it goes. But today was probably the best car we’ve had since we started with the Nissan Altimas.”
Results - Race 25
1. James Courtney
2. Craig Lowndes
3. Chaz Mostert
4. Scott Pye
5. James Moffat
6. Jamie Whincup
7. Nick Percat
8. Michael Caruso
9. Garth Tander
10. Shane Van Gisbergen
15. Rick Kelly
21. Todd Kelly
(Provisional after 25 races)
1. Jamie Whincup - 1790 points
2. Mark Winterbottom 1775
3. Craig Lowndes - 1628
4. James Courtney - 1598
5. Fabian Coulthard - 1535
6. Shane Van Gisbergen - 1532
7. Scott McLaughlin - 1347
8. Chaz Mostert - 1322
9. Garth Tander - 1309
10. David Reynolds - 1201
12. Michael Caruso – 1059
15. James Moffat - 1017
16. Rick Kelly 1005
24. Todd Kelly - 662