Bahrain: Holden Racing Friday report

Kelly third as Skaife fights back to seventh in opening race in Bahrain 400 Holden Racing Team duo Todd Kelly and Mark Skaife have started their Bahrain 400 campaign with solid results in the opening race of three on the 3.6kilometre circuit in...

Kelly third as Skaife fights back to seventh in opening race in Bahrain 400

Holden Racing Team duo Todd Kelly and Mark Skaife have started their Bahrain 400 campaign with solid results in the opening race of three on the 3.6kilometre circuit in Sakhir.

Kelly ended up finishing third behind race winner Jason Bright and Garth Tander, while Skaife crossed the line in seventh spot.

It was something of a lonely race for Kelly, who worked his way past James Courtney's Falcon on a restart on lap eight to take third place.

However, he rejoined from his lap 11 pit stop behind the Gold Coaster's car and had to fight has way back past again through the sweeping section on the far side of the circuit to run what would become a lonely race to the finish of the 27 lap event.

Skaife worked his way to seventh on the opening lap until being passed by Steven Richards on the restart on lap eight.

The fivetime Bathurst winner quickly grabbed the spot back at the beginning of the next lap with a nice move into the first gear hairpin at the end of the front straight.

He would cross the line seventh, but once again behind Richards who got back in front of Skaife after the HRT driver was delayed entering his pit bay by the departing Tander Commodore that had stalled in the adjacent pit box.

Earlier in the day, Kelly had taken the #22 Commodore to the third fastest time in qualifying behind Tander and Bright. In the Top 10 Shootout he produced a solid lap that put him fourth on the grid alongside brother Rick.

Things didn't go to plan for Skaife, who put the #2 car into the top 10 shootout with fourth fastest time.

A spin at turn one on his Shootout lap ruined any chance of another pole position for th 2006 and the fivetime champion was forced to start from 10 on the grid, which improved to ninth after Greg Murphy was given a penalty.

HRT QUOTEBOOK

Todd Kelly (#22 Holden Racing Team Commodore VZ)

"It was a little bit of a quiet race for me actually. Towards the end I had no pressure on me and Jason (Bright) and Garth (Tander) were too far in front, so I had a play with the (antiroll) bars to see if I could make the car a little better with tomorrow in mind. It was quite a good fight with James (Courtney) there for a while but we had a slow pit stop today. Looking after the tyres tomorrow will be a really big issue."

Mark Skaife (#2 Holden Racing Team Commodore VZ)

"The car was definitely better than yesterday. The mistake in the Top 10 Shootout really knocked us around though and we were good enough to be in the top five on speed. But it was just a stupid error in the Shootout. To get back up to seventh is probably a few spots away still from where we should have been. The car isn't quite there yet in terms of setup but better."

-credit: hrt

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers James Courtney , Garth Tander , Jason Bright , Greg Murphy , Mark Skaife , Todd Kelly , Steven Richards
Teams Holden Racing Team