Rick Kelly leads the charge for Nissan at the Clipsal 500

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Kelly bagged a hard-earned sixth place finish in Race 1 before coming home 11th in Race 2.

Rick Kelly has led an encouraging day for Nissan Motorsport in the opening two races of the 2014 V8 Supercars Championship at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide.

Kelly bagged a hard-earned sixth place finish in Race 1 before coming home 11th in Race 2.

While Kelly was the team’s leading light, it was a good day all round for Nissan. Michael Caruso and Todd Kelly sit equal 10th in the title chase, with Caruso taking a solid eighth place finish in Race 2 and Kelly one place behind in ninth.

Todd and Rick Kelly
Todd and Rick Kelly

Photo by: Jack Daniels Racing

James Moffat had a frustrating day, but fought well in Race 2 to bring his Altima V8 Supercar home in 12th.

In other Nissan news in Adelaide, the first ‘Nissan Time Attack’ speed comparison was held, with the LEAF Nismo RC competing against a GT-R road-car and Caruso’s Norton Altima V8. Caruso took the win ahead of Rick Kelly in the LEAF Nismo RC and the GT-R, driven by South Australian Sam Reid.

Another speed comparison will be held tomorrow before the 250km Race 3 of the V8 Supercars Championship.

The final day of the Clipsal 500 tomorrow will see qualifying held at midday, followed immediately by a top 10 shoot-out. Race 3 starts at 2.50pm (local time).

Rick Kelly, #15 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima
Race 1: 7th
Race 2: 11th

“I’m really excited to be where we are right now, the Jack Daniel’s Racing team have two cars in the top-ten in the points,” said Rick Kelly.

“It’s very early days, but the exciting thing is that we have potential.

“I didn’t do a very good time in qualifying, and we didn’t quite have the car setup perfectly, but I was able to jump from 14th to sixth in the first race, and then 17th to 11th in the second.

“Realistically, we really did get screwed by that restart in the second race, the new restart format in my opinion is quite questionable how it works.

“Through no fault of our own, we went from somewhere reasonable and got passed by four cars.

“Regardless, it is what it is, we got pushed back and finished 11th.

“So for us as a team, compared to last year, it’s really exciting.

“In the morning, I want to get up, do a good job in qualifying, and then make the most of that in the race.”

Michael Caruso, #36 Norton Nissan Altima
Race 1: 18th
Race 2: 8th

“We were running decent in the first race, but we had a drama in the pit stop. That cost us, but we made up for it in the second race,” said Michael Caruso.

“We’re 10th in the championship with those two results, and that’s my aim for the weekend – to finish as high up as I can and to bag as many points as possible.

“Tomorrow’s race will be a different ball game. We know how hard 250km is around here.

“The big thing for me is that our Nissans are clearly better than where we were last year, which is encouraging, so we just need a big bag of points to give us a great launch into the rest of the season.”

Todd Kelly, #7 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima
Race 1: 16th
Race 2: 9th

“We lost a heap of ground in the pits (in race two), we lost a lot of track position, and with it being really hard to pass, it was tough,” Todd Kelly said.

“Where our car is very strong is through the first sector, but there isn’t really anywhere you can pass through there, and where the passing opportunities are we don’t quite have the car, so it’s something we have to work on.

“It knocked us around today not being able to get that practice session done (after an engine issue), because maybe we’re in a place with the car that we wouldn’t be if we would have been able to try out what we had planned.

“It makes it hard, you don’t really want to make major changes before a race untried, so we were stuck.

“But we’ll tune it up for tomorrow, the potential is there with the car, we just need to make the right calls with it.”

James Moffat, #360 Norton Nissan Altima
Race 1: 20th
Race 2 12th

“The drive –through penalty was not ideal in race 1, but I was struggling with a misfiring engine, so I think we probably would have meant we would have been down there anyway,” said James Moffat.

“The guys worked hard between races to fix the problem for the second race, so that was a good job by them.

“To finish 12th was OK, but really, it was a nothing day. I tried to drive the wheels off it. I got run into by my Nissan team-mate Todd Kelly, which is never a good situation, but we’ll come out tomorrow with a fresh mindset and try and drag our Norton car up the front.”

Nissan Motorsport

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About this article
Series V8SUPERCARS
Article type Race reports
Tags adelaide, clipsal 500, james moffat, michael caruso, rick kelly, todd kelly, v8 supercars