Rick Kelly Seventh - Kelly Racing Puts Three Cars In Top 12
Rick Kelly has led a solid effort from Kelly Racing in the opening race of the MSS Security Challenge at the Formula 1 QANTAS Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, Victoria today.
Kelly finished in seventh place aboard his #15 Jack Daniel’s Commodore, the same position he finished this morning’s qualifying race at the Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit.
Todd Kelly again defied injury to make it a strong day for Jack Daniel’s Racing, with 10th in the qualifying race and ninth in Race 1.
Greg Murphy continued his gradual improvement in the #51 Pepsi Max Commodore with 13th place in the qualifying race and 12th in Race 1, a result that could have been even higher after a slow pit stop delayed his charge.
Karl Reindler also improved over the course of the day aboard the #11 Fair Dinkum Sheds Commodore. After being classified 21st in the qualifying race, Reindler ran as high as second before his pit stop and finished in 18th place in Race 1.
Mark Winterbottom won today’s qualifying race before also taking victory in Race 1 ahead of Shane van Gisbergen and Will Davison.
Race 2 of the MSS Security Challenge will be held tomorrow, with Race 3 at the Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit on Sunday.
KELLY RACING QUOTEBOARD
RICK KELLY - #15 Jack Daniel’s Holden Commodore:
“I had a good battle with a few other guys out there which made that race a lot of fun,” said Rick Kelly.
“Our Jack Daniel’s Commodore is there or there abouts. The frustrating thing today is that we got up to third with all the action on the first lap but we didn't manage to convert that into a top five result with a pit stop that was a little slower than the cars we were racing.
“We also struggled with the car set-up in this afternoon's race. We tried something after the qualifying race but with the extra F1 rubber down on track it didn't quite go our way. But it's a non-points event and learning is important.
“We will work hard overnight to get the car even better and try to get into the top five and even sneak up into the podium positions.”
TODD KELLY - #7 Jack Daniel’s Holden Commodore:
“I actually don't know how I ended up ninth because I got a terrible start with too much wheel spin off the line,” said Todd Kelly.
“I lost a fair bit of momentum for the run down to Turn 1 and then I was hit around on the first lap as cars ahead bogged down. It felt like at least five or six cars got passed.
“My Jack Daniel's Commodore got belted around a bit but it was all good. After my pit stop on lap two I thought I was around 18th so I just tried to put my head down and put in good lap times.
“Somehow that's translated into ninth so that's a positive sign for us as we go forward. Based on that progress we could have been well inside the top 10 if we didn't have such a poor start.
“We will knock the dents out of the car and have another good crack at it tomorrow, but I'm encouraged that we have three cars in the top 10 and we are gradually improving.”
GREG MURPHY - #51 Pepsi Max Holden Commodore:
“I actually got a reasonable start and passed a few cars,” said Greg Murphy.
“I came in on lap one like all the other cars that were the first car in the queue on their pit boom but our pit stop wasn't the best and we lost a few crucial seconds.
“Basically that cost us in terms of our strategy and we lost the spots we had gained at the start.
“The Pepsi Max Commodore was strong so we passed a few cars and made good ground, but I'm disappointed because the boys gave me a great car and we could have been even higher.
“We are working hard and heading in the right direction, but it's really important that we put it all together. At the moment if it's not one thing, it's another. When we put it all together it's going to be good and we're working hard to make it happen.”
KARL REINDLER - #11 Fair Dinkum Sheds Holden Commodore:
“We went for a different strategy to most and started on the soft tyres,” said Karl Reindler.
“Essentially we went out of ‘sync’ and ran as high as second in clean air.
“But the balance of the Fair Dinkum Sheds Commodore wasn’t quite right following F1 practice with the extra rubber down, as the grip level changed.
“We had a lot of oversteer and that fried the tyres. I got back out there after our stop and made up a few spots to finish 18th.
“We probably should have pitted a few laps earlier so that we could eliminate the laps where we suffered badly from tyre wear. So we will aim for improvement tomorrow and see if we can make more improvement.”