KELLY BROTHERS CONFIDENT OF FURTHER IMPROVEMENT FROM NEW TEAM IN HAMILTON Jack Daniel's Racing drivers Todd and Rick Kelly are confident that their new V8 Supercar team will continue to rise up the order in this early part of the season ahead of...
KELLY BROTHERS CONFIDENT OF FURTHER IMPROVEMENT FROM NEW TEAM IN HAMILTON
Jack Daniel's Racing drivers Todd and Rick Kelly are confident that their new V8 Supercar team will continue to rise up the order in this early part of the season ahead of Round 2 of the 2009 V8 Supercar Championship Series in Hamilton, New Zealand this weekend.
The second running of the Hamilton 400 will be just the third event for the Kelly Racing operation and it's two new Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodores.
The brothers from Milbura, Victoria made a strong start to the season in Adelaide, running in the top 10 and showing solid speed in the team's debut.
With the non-points Australian Grand Prix event and a well-earned break over the Easter period now behind them, the entire team is working hard to ensure further improvement.
Far from resting on their laurels, both drivers and crew have worked hard to ensure that the lessons learned in this early part of the year are put to good use at the 3.4-kilometre Hamilton street circuit this weekend.
Racing against each other as team-mates for the first time, both Todd and Rick are keen to continue the progress up the order for the new team this season.
Both drivers are used to success throughout their careers -- Todd is the 2005 Bathurst 1000 winner and Rick a two-time Bathurst winner and the youngest-ever V8 Supercar champion.
Now the pair are seeking to rise towards the top of the V8 Supercar pack as part of their own new team, working full-time at the team's new Braeside workshop and putting in the necessary work to ensure that progress continues in the right direction.
A new qualifying format will be implemented for Hamilton, with the usual Saturday, elimination-style qualifying session and Top 10 Shootout to set the Saturday race grid and a second, 20 minute 'all-in' qualifying session, held roughly one hour before Sunday's race, to decide the starting line-up for the second race of the weekend.
JACK DANIEL'S RACING QUOTEBOARD
Rick Kelly - #15 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore:
On the new qualifying format to be debuted in Hamilton:
"It definitely allows you to progress through the weekend a little bit better than the system we ran in Adelaide," said Rick Kelly.
"I'm a big believer in being able to move forward and progress throughout the weekend, so with that in mind, last year's qualifying was much better than what was they have got in place this year.
"I think the new structure is probably a little better.
"Qualifying on Sunday morning for Sunday's race definitely allows you to progress throughout the weekend and they've tried to make the session quite close to the race so you will leave the car in race trim for qualifying.
"It's a little better and hopefully we can make the most of that in New Zealand."
On the Hamilton street circuit:
"Last year was obviously the first event there," said Rick Kelly.
"As an event it's almost a smaller version of the Clipsal 500. The whole town gets right behind the event and for me I quite enjoyed it.
"Our pace there last year was quite good, being the first race we'd ever done there it was good to get second in the first race. A slow pit stop hindered our result for the rest of the weekend.
"Being with a new team this year, if we can get some good results and some good pace similar to last year we should be able to cement ourselves in the top 10."
On the progress of Kelly Racing after two events:
"The break has certainly allowed us to take a little bit of a breath between races and improve as a team," said Rick Kelly.
"I think that's what we needed to do. We're definitely at the point where we can take the cars to a race track and compete well.
"I think we need to move a little bit further forward so that we can aim for top five results and eventually race wins. The break has allowed us to move a little bit closer to that point.
"The big thing we need to do at the moment is to cement ourselves well and truly in the top 10 on points in the first couple of events and then move towards the top five around mid-year."
Todd Kelly - #7 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore:
"Hamilton is another great event and it's good to go into the first flyaway race of the season having had a little bit of a breather after the Grand Prix," said Todd Kelly.
"After those first two events of the season, we've learned a lot about our new Jack Daniel's Commodores and we've been able to sit back and have a really good think about how we can improve things and get them to go even better.
"We think we have the potential to go very well over there in New Zealand. The team is still relatively new but our expectations are high.
"We'll definitely be looking to be right up there in Hamilton and get a couple of strong finishes to lift ourselves up the order points-wise to where we believe we should be."