Nissan Motorsport has collected another top 10 finish in the V8 Supercars Championship, with Norton 360 Racing's James Moffat finishing a fine 10th at Barbagallo Raceway today.
The result is the Nissan Altima's fifth top 10 finish in the car company's return year to top-level Australian Touring Car racing.
While the yellow and black Norton Nissans had an exceptional day, results were harder to come by for the Jack Daniel's Racing Nissans at the Perth circuit.
Both Todd and Rick Kelly suffered from flat tyres, with Todd's coming in the first half of the 60/60 Super Sprint race. Unfortunately for Rick, his flat tyre came in the second race, costing him any chance of a good result.
Todd Kelly eventually finished 20th, while Rick Kelly was down in 26th.
The race was won by Craig Lowndes, with the victory making him the most prolific winner in Australian Touring Car Championship/V8 Supercars history (91 race wins).
The V8 Supercars Championship resumes at Barbagallo Raceway tomorrow for two qualifying and two races.
James Moffat – #360 Norton 360 Nissan Altima (Race 10 qualifying: 13th / Race 10 result: 10th / Championship position: 14th): "From where we were yesterday scratching our heads, we've made great strides and I'm proud of the guys at Norton 360 Racing," said Moffat.
"We identified some issues with a batch of tyres that might have affected our speed. Qualifying 13th was important for us, because I felt that our race package was always going to be stronger. To be 13th made our life easier.
"The car was strong in the first part of the race, but I struggled a bit with the rear tyres in the second half, but this is a strong result for our side of the garage and Nissan."
Michael Caruso – #36 Norton 360 Nissan Altima (Race 10 qualifying: 25th / Race 10 result: 11th / Championship position: 21st): "It is definitely better than where started!" said Caruso, referring to qualifying 25th.
"It was unfortunate in qualifying that I started from the back because of the red flag. We'd elected to wait until the end of the session to set our time but got caught out with red flag.
"It is always hard work at these types of tracks, trying to pass everybody, but to come 11th from back there is a good effort from everyone at Norton 360 Racing.
"The Nissan Altima is handling really well, so I can't wait to get into the 100km races tomorrow."
Todd Kelly – #7 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima (Race 10 qualifying: 28th / Race 10 result: 20th / Championship position: 26th): "We blew a tyre in the first part of that race, which put me a lap down, but lucky the new rules got me back on that lap, but I couldn't really do much with it," Todd Kelly said.
"Once the race gets underway, it's pretty hard to pass with how the car is, but the positive is the other two cars are quite good and set up differently.
"We'll have a good think about it, but overnight we'll probably end up going in the direction of Moff (James Moffat) and (Michael) Caruso and we can have another good crack at it tomorrow."
Rick Kelly – #15 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima (Race 10 qualifying: 27th / Race 10 result: 26th / Championship position: 15th): "It was a very frustrating race for us, we didn't quite have the package in the first bit and we made a change in the break and made a really good improvement with the car, so we were going a lot better and we moved up to 18th," Rick Kelly said.
"We knew that if you went off on the exit of Turn 5 there was a great risk of hurting the tyre and unfortunately I put the car there and straight away the tyre went down, so she was very unforgiving.
"You'd expect that a place like that where cars fire off all the time that you wouldn't cop that, but it happened to a few of us and it's a good incentive not to go there.
"The great thing is the two Norton guys did a fantastic job and that's a really good direction for s for tomorrow. It proves that we can be hovering around the 10."