PAIR OF FOURS FOR RICK KELLY IN IPSWICH
Jack Daniel’s Racing driver Rick Kelly has scored two fourth place finishes in the twin 22-lap sprint races held at the Coates Hire Ipswich 300 at Queensland Raceway in Ipswich, Queensland today.
Kelly is on the way to satisfying his pre-event goal of three top fives finishes at the 3.12-kilometre circuit, which is the test circuit for many of his main rivals in this year’s V8 Supercars Championship.
The 28-year-old qualified in third place aboard his #15 Jack Daniel’s Commodore and turned in two strong performances, with encouraging signs coming from each race with good tyre life and speed from the soft compound Dunlop tyre.
Kelly maintains fourth place in the 2011 V8 Supercars Championship points standings entering tomorrow’s 200-kilometre event, which unlike today’s races will feature pit stops for tyres and fuel.
Todd Kelly showed potential aboard the #7 Jack Daniel’s Commodore, following on from his sixth place in final practice on Friday, but again had no luck.
Kelly moved forwards in the first race to finish in 17th position and made a strong start to Race 2, showing strong car speed.
But when Alex Davison and Karl Reindler made contact exiting Turn 5 on the second lap of the race, Kelly slowed to avoid the accident, only to receive hard contact from behind from James Courtney that pushed him into the back of Davison.
The damage to both the front and the rear of the #7 Jack Daniel’s Commodore ended Todd’s race on the spot and will require extensive repair work overnight from the Jack Daniel’s Racing crew.
Craig Lowndes won both 22-lap sprint races held today at the Coates Hire Ipswich 300 at Queensland Raceway, sharing the podium in both races with Tim Slade and championship leader Jamie Whincup.
JACK DANIEL’S RACING QUOTEBOARD
RICK KELLY - #15 Jack Daniel’s Holden Commodore:
“Our aim for the weekend was to come here and get three top five finishes,” said Rick Kelly.
“That was a pretty steep aim. We still didn't have the pace of a couple of the other guys leading into this round so we set that as an aim and we are very excited to be able to achieve that so far.
“We had a couple of little problems in the background with my Jack Daniel’s Commodore in that race but the car set-up itself was very, very good.
“It almost hurt the front tyres quicker than the rear so that very exciting for us, because rear tyre life has been a challenge for us.
“The front three cleared away a bit but a couple of small, fine tuning changes on the rear of the car overnight could see us well and truly stay up with the front guys. Tomorrow's race is very long but we are excited about it.
“For our championship we are very excited. We came here to try and build a gap on fourth and chip away at third. So far today we have been able to do that so we need to be very level headed and think smart for tomorrow to try and do the same thing.”
TODD KELLY - #7 Jack Daniel’s Holden Commodore:
“I couldn't have done a thing about that, it was a bit of a crap situation,” said Todd Kelly.
“I thought that in qualifying I drove the car as well as I could, which was good because I have been struggling with qualifying a bit. But we made a bit of a mistake with what we did to the car set-up.
“We fixed it for the race and the #7 Jack Daniel’s Commodore was absolutely awesome.
“I drove it too hard in that first race and it was still quite quick at the end so the tyre life is good. In the second race I had miles more pace than all the cars around me so I felt that I would have been able to move up a fair way with how the car was.
“I haven't had the car that good and had soft tyre life that good for as long as I can remember in recent memory so I'm absolutely wrapped wit the potential of the car.
“I was just setting myself up for the rest of the race and then all of a sudden I was straight in the back of another car and (James) Courtney was into the back of me.
“I couldn't have done a single thing about it. It's pretty disappointing but we will bounce back tomorrow after we put all the bent bits in the bin. But we will have another crack tomorrow.
“The car is pretty average. There is going to be a fair old pile of broken bits plus a fair bit of panel beating to fix all the bits that don't unbolt off the car.
“We'll find out in the next hour or so exactly how much damage there is to the front of the engine and underneath the rear of the car.
“It's nothing a lot of hours from the guys and a few bucks wont fix, but it's not ideal.”