Todd Kelly on the edge of top-10 in Darwin opener

Jack Daniel's Racing

It was a race of contrasting fortunes for Jack Daniel's Racing duo Rick and Todd Kelly in race 12 of the 2012 V8 Supercar Championship at Darwin’s Hidden Valley Raceway.

Todd, Kelly
Todd, Kelly

Photo by: Edge Photographics

The team elected to start the race with Rick on the soft compound tyres and Todd on the more durable hard compound rubber.

After starting ninth, Rick was forced to pit on lap 10 due to a technical issue with his engine, which resulted in his retirement from the race.

Brother Todd, in the #7 Jack Daniel's Racing Commodore narrowly avoided a spinning car on the third lap and dropped down to 18th spot from his 13th starting position.

However, Todd was among the fastest of the drivers on the track while also looking after his tyres. As other drivers started pitting, Todd moved up the order and on lap 25 swept into the lead, before his compulsory pit stop for fuel and four fresh tyres.

Todd was the last car in the field to pit on lap 26 and returned to the track in 16th spot.

Changing onto the soft compound tyres gave Todd even greater grip and car speed and he soon moved back through the field, passing 2010 V8 Supercar champion James Courtney on the last lap to finish 11th.

Qualifying
The V8 Supercars took to the track this morning where the Jack Daniel's Racing team’s Rick Kelly qualified 10th and brother Todd 13th.

It was Rick’s third top-ten starting spot for the season, the previous one being at Phillip Island for race 10.

All drivers took to the track for the 20-minute session and with three minutes to go, qualifying came alive as lap times tumbled and many drivers topped the timesheets momentarily. At the end of a frantic qualifying session, Jack Daniel's Racing team were 10th and 13th fastest.

Top Ten Shootout
Rick Kelly posted the 9th fastest time in the top-ten shootout, putting the #15 Jack Daniel's Commodore on the inside of row 5 for today’s 120 km race.

Kelly was the first driver to take to the track in the shootout and posted a time of 1.09.5224. Will Davison, set a blistering lap time of 1.08.6664 around the 2.9km Hidden Valley Raceway, captured Pole position.

QUOTES

Jack Daniel's Racing Car #15, Rick Kelly – “Although we were disappointed with today’s result, the positive going forward is that we’ve got some very good tyres for tomorrow’s qualifying and race”.

Jack Daniel's Racing Car #7 Todd Kelly – “I was really in the wrong place at the wrong time at the start, but I settled into where the pace of the car was very good.

“I was happy we held our own on the hards (compound tyres), so when we put the softs on and I could have a crack the speed in the car was fantastic and I got myself back up to 11th place. The car was great and you could drive it and balance it throughout the race. It really looked after its tyres”.

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Series V8SUPERCARS
Tags hidden valley raceway, jack daniel's racing, kelly