After a hectic weekend of racing, Nissan Motorsport has secured a double top 10 result in the final race at Phillip Island today.
Norton-backed driver James Moffat took a fine seventh place finish in today’s second race, one place ahead of Jack Daniel’s Racing team-mate Rick Kelly.
Moffat endured a difficult first race today, involved in two incidents that saw him head off the track. He did well to fight back to 21st.
In the second race, Moffat qualified 13th and moved his way forward, getting as high as sixth before eventually crossing the line seventh.
Rick Kelly started the day with a 13th place finish before taking a strong eighth – his best result for the weekend. His consistent efforts keeps him 14th in the championship.
His Jack Daniel's Racing stable-mate Todd Kelly finished 16th and 13th in the two races.
For Caruso, it was a frustrating day, suffering two oil pump failures – both of which occurred while he was in a competitive position.
The final event of the 2013 V8 Supercars Championship will be held at the Sydney Telstra 500 on December 6-9.
James Moffat, #360 Norton Nissan Altima: "It has been a really tough weekend, but finishing seventh in the final race is a positive," said James Moffat.
“We only really got the car right today. Getting pushed off during the first race was a shambles, and I felt that starting from 13th with a good car, we should be able to capitalize on it, which we did.
“I was working really well with Caruso in the last race, and we were working towards a double top 10 result, so it was a shame that he didn’t finish that one.”
Rick Kelly, #15 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima: "It's very easy for us to get swallowed up the straights and it's quite obvious at this track, but I really enjoyed the weekend and there are a lot of cars behind us that have more pace, so I have to be satisfied with that," Rick Kelly said.
"We had all four cars in the top 12 or 13 for the whole race apart from the end, so I feel for Caruso because he got himself into seventh and that was very impressive.
"It's a tough one, every safety car it was very easy for us to slip backwards and we managed to stay there, so I'm happy with that and excited to go to the last round and try and get a couple of top 10s in the longer hotter races."
Todd Kelly, #7 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima: "That was one of the most frustrating races I've had, the car was better, we made a few improvements from the first race today and it had less understeer and looked after its tyres better," Todd Kelly said.
"There are about four or five cars in front of me who probably shouldn't have been if all things were equal. Coming onto the straight four or five car lengths behind, they'd end up in front by turn one, so it was frustrating.
"When we get that straight line pace sorted they're going to be good cars round here."
Michael Caruso, #36 Norton Nissan Altima: "We qualified brilliantly today, considering where we the Nissan Altima at this stage of our development," said Michael Caruso.
“To get the car up to eighth in qualifying was great.
“But when you’re running in and around the top 10 and you have two of the same engine problems … it kind of sums up our year.
“That’s eight or nine DNFs for this year, and that’s why we’re so far down in the championship.
“Ultimately, it’s probably going to come back to being a development year.”