Jack Daniel’s Racing driver Todd Kelly has climbed up the order to claim a top 10 finishing position in the opening race at Symmons Plains Raceway near Launceston, Tasmania today.
Kelly finished in 10th place aboard his #7 Jack Daniel’s Commodore after starting from 16th on the grid for today’s 59-lap race, continuing to defy a left foot injury.
The result lifts Kelly into 11th place in the 2012 V8 Supercars Championship points standings after three races, one place behind brother and team-mate Rick Kelly.
Rick Kelly started from 14th position for today’s race but a hit from behind on the opening lap spun his #15 Jack Daniel’s Commodore, leaving him to recover and claim 19th place.
David Russell put in a solid performance to finish in 21st place today in what is the Queenslander’s first ‘solo’ V8 Supercars Championship race, substituting for the injured Greg Murphy in the #51 Pepsi Max Commodore.
Karl Reindler finished in 23rd place in the #11 Fair Dinkum Sheds Commodore, reporting suspension issues that delayed his charge.
Will Davison won today’s opening race of the Tasmania Challenge at Symmons Plains Raceway ahead of team-mate Mark Winterbottom and defending V8 Supercars champion Jamie Whincup.
The second and final event of the Tasmania Challenge will be held at Symmons Plains Raceway tomorrow over 84 laps.
KELLY RACING QUOTEBOARD
TODD KELLY - #7 Jack Daniel’s Holden Commodore:
“Tenth place isn't too bad but we’d like to be higher,” said Todd Kelly.
“The Jack Daniel’s Commodore wasn't quite good enough to pass loads of cars.
“I had a little bit of pace and as I pressed on I could catch cars but nowhere near quickly enough to actually make up a significant amount of positions.
“The race was more about strategy and surviving to move up the field that way.
“It's all about qualifying for tomorrow. If we qualify up a little bit further we are good enough to stay there. Hopefully we have a better run tomorrow.”
RICK KELLY - #15 Jack Daniel’s Holden Commodore:
“Off the start line I got an OK launch but I was stuck on the outside of the track into Turn 1 and then all the way into the hairpin,” said Rick Kelly.
“Up the back straight I was still on the outside and had a row of cars to my left so I couldn't really slot in anywhere.
“I braked and went into the braking zone and then mid-corner I got a quite a big hit in the side around the exhaust pipe area on the left-hand side
“It spun me straight off the track. That's disappointing because at the start of the year you always want to build your points base up and we were unable to do that today.
“On hard compound tyres our Jack Daniel’s Commodore wasn't as quick as we would like and it was OK on softs. We've got some data from that race to look over to improve the car.
“We need to qualify further up the grid for tomorrow and have anther crack.
“I'd like to have a look into what happened on the first lap there because I ended up facing backwards on the track so I'm not sure if I literally got punted or if I've squeezed another car a bit.
“We will put this behind us and have another crack tomorrow.”
DAVID RUSSELL - #51 Pepsi Max Holden Commodore:
“I had a call stall in front of me on the line as (Alex) Premat bogged it down,” said David Russell.
“I had to take to the grass to get out of the way of that. I made up a good few spots at the start through a couple of tangles here and there.
“But I got 'helped' from behind by I think Tony D'Alberto, he just locked the rears and pushed me forwards at the hairpin and I lost four spots so that was pretty disappointing because I'd worked hard to make up some spots at the start.
“From there I just focused on our lap times on the hard tyres and I just ran my own race to be honest. I came in and had a faultless pit stop and got back out there and got into the rhythm of the soft tyres.
“I definitely know I can push harder on the soft tyres, it's just about me getting more experience and a better feel for those tyres.
“I didn't make any mistakes, run off the track or fire into anyone today, so I was pretty happy with that for my first race in the Pepsi Max Commodore.
“I was hoping to get inside the top 20 but I missed out by one spot (laughs).”
KARL REINDLER - #11 Fair Dinkum Sheds Holden Commodore:
“It hasn't really been our weekend,” said Karl Reindler.
“We've had a few dramas. Something in the suspension has had a problem early in that race. We haven't established what it is just yet.
“It made the Fair Dinkum Sheds Commodore very uneven in the braking zones and it was wallowing a lot in the corners.
“We will look over everything now and figure out what needs to be fixed. It's just frustrating because we've had a number of issues go against us this weekend. We had a battery problem and a rim drama yesterday and it's set us back.
“If we get everything right for Sunday we should have a better day.”