James Moffat takes Nissan inside the top 10 in ANZAC Day V8 race

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Moffat passed a number of cars, and took advantage of others’ mishaps to claim 10th.

James Moffat has finished 10th in V8 Supercars’ first-ever race on ANZAC Day at Pukekohe Park, New Zealand.

The #360 Norton Nissan driver qualified 13th but made a slow start, dropping as low as 16th place.

Moffat passed a number of cars, and took advantage of others’ mishaps to claim 10th. The result has moved him up to 13th place in the championship.

Jack Daniel’s Nissan driver Todd Kelly was the next best of the Altima quartet, finishing in 16th place, one spot ahead of Norton Nissan team-mate Michael Caruso.

Rick Kelly looked like he would be in a position to challenge for a podium after practicing strongly in his Jack Daniel’s entry.

Unfortunately, a driver error early in qualifying saw him stuck in the sand trap. Under V8 Supercars regulations, the mishap forced him to start from last (25th). He made up five spots to take 20th.

The V8 Supercars return to the south Auckland circuit tomorrow for two qualifying sessions and two more 100km races.

Sunday’s format will see qualifying followed by a 200km race.

James Moffat, #360 Norton Nissan Altima
Practice: 20th
Race 10 Qualifying: 13th
Race 10 Result: 10th
Championship position: 13th

“We missed it a little bit in qualifying, so starting in 13th wasn’t ideal, but our pace in the race was reasonably strong,” said James Moffat.

“Our car looked after its tyres very well so I’m pretty happy with the final result.

“It was all about minimising our mistakes. We benefited from a few guys slipping off, so we’ll have a look at it tonight and see where we can make a few things better.

“I feel like we’re pretty close to the potential of the car around this circuit, so we’ll see what tomorrow brings.”

Michael Caruso, #36 Norton Nissan Altima
Practice: 15th
Race 10 Qualifying: 17th
Race 10 Result: 17th
Championship position: 16th

“Unfortunately we had a mistake in our gearshifts in qualifying which probably cost us a top 10 result, and starting down the back made it a tough slog,” said Michael Caruso.

“Once you start at the back, it’s difficult to pass around here.

“We should qualify better tomorrow which should give us a better shot tomorrow.”

Todd Kelly, #7 Jack Daniel's Racing Nissan Altima
Practice: 22nd
Qualifying Race 10- 15th
Race 10- 16th
Championship position: 23rd

"It's pretty tough to pass, there were places where I had a quicker car than those in front, but it was really in all of the high speed stuff which didn't allow me many chances to overtake," said Todd Kelly.

"The weaknesses today are in the places where you can pass or be passed, so there is a bit of work to do as a race car.

"It's really all about qualifying, it's quite hard to pass out there, we had a pretty good qualifying car but didn't get the most out of it.

"The best lap we had someone had speared off in front of me and covered the track in dirt, I felt we were a tenth and a half better than where we qualified.

"So if we can work on that and move up a bit for the start of the race, it's not looking too bad."

Rick Kelly, #15 Jack Daniel's Racing Nissan Altima
Practice: 4th
Qualifying Race 10: 25th
Race 10 Result: 20th
Championship position: 17th

"The guys today provided me with a fantastic car, it was strong in practice and would have been great in qualifying and I made an error," said Rick Kelly.

"I bounced off a kerb at turn one, and the tyres were not quite up to pressure on that lap, it pushed me wide on a couple of corners, and I couldn't get it back before the tyre wall.

"It was my fault on that one 100 percent, it put us back in the back of the pack, and we managed to climb a few positions up.

"With the car in the race, if I qualified better, I'm sure I could have maintained it.

"Tomorrow's task is to do a really good job in qualifying in both sessions, and tweak the race car a little bit to give some more pace off the two slow corners.

"I had a good battle out there with a few guys, and we came away with a clean car. I just apologise to the team, because they gave me a great car."

Nissan Motorsport

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About this article
Series V8SUPERCARS
Article type Race report
Tags james moffat, michael caruso, new zealand, nissan motorsport, pukekohe, rick kelly, todd kelly