Tenth In Tassie Puts Todd Kelly Tenth In Points
Jack Daniel’s Racing driver Todd Kelly has moved into 10th place in the 2012 V8 Supercars Championship points standings with a 10th place finish in the final race of the weekend at Symmons Plains Raceway near Launceston, Tasmania today.
Kelly posted his third top 10 race finish of the season after four races to continue a consistent start to the season for the #7 Jack Daniel’s Commodore, which also posted three top 10 finishes at the non-points Australian Grand Prix event.
But Kelly says that the team will be putting in maximum effort to improve the outright pace of its cars between now and the third event of the championship in Hamilton, New Zealand on April 20-22.
Rick Kelly finished in 16th place today as his #15 Jack Daniel’s Commodore suffered badly from rear tyre wear, seeing him drop to 11th place in the championship standings behind brother and team-mate Todd Kelly.
Karl Reindler was on track for a top 15 finish aboard the #11 Fair Dinkum Sheds Commodore, with improved race pace in today’s 84-lap race.
But the West Aussie lost ground and fell off the lead lap when the crew was forced to fit a spare battery at Reindler’s second pit stop.
David Russell’s second race substituting for the injured Greg Murphy ended abruptly with only a few laps remaining when an oil leak sparked a small fire in the #51 Pepsi Max Commodore.
The third event of the 2012 V8 Supercars Championship is the ITM 400 Hamilton in New Zealand, the home event for Kiwi hero Greg Murphy.
It was at the Hamilton street circuit last season that Rick and Todd Kelly scored first and third respectively in Saturday’s race, the first race victory for Kelly Racing, backed up by the brothers qualifying first and second for Sunday’s race.
KELLY RACING QUOTEBOARD
TODD KELLY - #7 Jack Daniel’s Holden Commodore:
“It's good that you can put ‘top 10’ in the press release but once everyone looks closer it's only 10th,” said Todd Kelly.
“We probably had the pace to finish around eighth, ninth or 10th today, which isn't good enough.
“We just haven't done a good enough job getting fast cars and getting the engineering side of things nailed.
“It's a little bit disappointing to be that far back at the start of the year.
“We have got solid points but to try and move forward you need to have a fair bit of pace.
“There is going to be a lot of homework getting done before the next round. To move forward from here we need genuine car speed.
“We will have a good, solid debrief when we get back and try to get my Jack Daniel’s Commodore and all of our cars going a lot faster.”
RICK KELLY - #15 Jack Daniel’s Holden Commodore:
“We've made a couple of changes after qualifying and it's hurt the tyres in the race,” said Rick Kelly.
“It absolutely ate the rear tyres.
“We got ourselves into a good position in the race with a few good, clean laps at the start and an early strategy to go to our softs, which was a good call.
“But we fell from seventh to 16th – once the tyres went off in just a few laps my Jack Daniel’s Commodore was chewing its tyres quite badly.
“It was disappointing. We put the last set of tyres on and I had to be very careful, sit there and manage them.
“Even if we were faster than cars in front we weren't quick enough in the places where we needed to be to have a look.
“It's disappointing. We really didn't show any glimpses of podium pace this weekend.
“We need to use the couple of weeks we've got until New Zealand efficiently and see what we can do to improve.”
KARL REINDLER - #11 Fair Dinkum Sheds Holden Commodore:
“It was all going really well for the Fair Dinkum Sheds Commodore,” said Karl Reindler.
“I was happy to get off the hard tyres quite early because the soft tyres could last the distance.
“The outright pace probably wasn't quite there but it was looking good because the pace over a whole stint was looking fantastic.
“We had a bit of brake fade in traffic, which is understandable on one of the heaviest braking circuits we go to.
“We were around in 16th or 17th place when unfortunately our battery was playing up and we had to replace that. It meant going a lap down.
“I was fighting with the guys that finished in 13th and 14th before that and I felt like we were definitely on for a top 15 today but it wasn't to be.
“It's a little frustrating, but it builds confidence knowing that the car did have good race pace.
“We will take that from this round and head to Hamilton knowing that the Kelly Racing boys had a great result there last year.”
DAVID RUSSELL - #51 Pepsi Max Holden Commodore:
“Today wasn't ideal in the end,” said David Russell.
“When we started off we had a couple of little handling issues, especially getting power down off the turns on the hard tyres.
“Unfortunately in our first pit stop we had an incident with the right front and on such a small track like this it threw us a lap down.
“When we came out on the track the leaders were literally right behind us. I let them past but little did I know that there was a Safety Car coming two laps later.
“Unfortunately we went a full lap down straight away. Once you are in that position, you are going to get a bad sportsmanship flag the whole way through the race if you are not letting people through.
“So it turned into some observation laps and testing as I was forced to constantly move over for the cars on the lead lap. I think I changed the anti-roll bar settings about 12 times while I was out there. So there's a positive in that we tried a few things.
“I feel fine after the 77 laps that I was able to do so my fitness is fine.
“With a few laps to go we have developed an oil leak and we've had to come into the pits with a bit of smoke and flames. It was just a small oil fire but there was a lot of smoke.
“It's very disappointing to end the weekend like that for the Pepsi Max Crew.”
QUESTION: Do you feel like you have learned a lot from your first single driver V8 Supercars Championship event?
“I learned a phenomenal amount. It was a fantastic week.
“Thanks to Todd, Rick and Pepsi Max for the opportunity. Thanks to Murph for giving me his car to drive.
“It was a great experience and I think I've got a lot of valuable experience out of it. I definitely would like to do more, that's for sure.”