Jack Daniel's Racing Winton test report

JACK DANIEL'S RACING WELL PREPARED FOR NEW ENGINE RULES Jack Daniel's Racing is well prepared for new engine regulations that come into force for the SKYCITY Triple Crown at Hidden Valley Raceway in Darwin, Northern Territory on June...


Jack Daniel's Racing is well prepared for new engine regulations that come into force for the SKYCITY Triple Crown at Hidden Valley Raceway in Darwin, Northern Territory on June 18-20.

From the popular Darwin event, teams must all run the same 'control' camshaft in their engines, a rule established by V8 Supercars Australia to save teams money and increase engine life.

But while most other teams head to Darwin yet to trial the new component under race conditions, Jack Daniel's Racing enters the 'top end' round of the championship well prepared for the technical change.

Todd Kelly has run the control camshaft in the engine of his #7 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore in three of the last four races, using the component in the Saturday race at Queensland Raceway and both races at Winton Motor Raceway.

Kelly used the component without any issues, now giving all four Kelly Racing entries a significant bank of information that will give them a head start in Darwin.

All four Kelly Racing Commodores tested at Winton Motor Raceway in rural Victoria today as the team looks to make strides towards the front of the pack.

Full-time drivers Todd and Rick Kelly, Jason Bargwanna and Tony Ricciardello shared driving duties with Glenn Seton, Jonny Reid and Dale Wood at the 3.0 kilometre circuit today.


TODD KELLY - #7 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore:

"It's a lot easier on the engine and the valve train," said Todd Kelly.

"The way the rules were, there were a certain amount of camshafts that were locked in that the teams could use, which they had developed over the years.

"The way everyone engineered their valve train was obviously to get the maximum horsepower. So in a lot of cases it's quite hard on the engine to get that last little bit of power.

"So the control cam is really to bring that back a little bit into a more reliable package. There is a little bit in it as far as a horsepower drop but on the track it's a little bit dependant on what circuit you are on.

"At most tracks you would hardly even notice the difference and if every team in the field's got the same cam, there will certainly be no difference as it's the same for everyone.

"It's a good move for the category and it should save everybody a little bit of money and also make the engines more reliable.

"The cars certainly are not going to go any slower and a lot of tracks we will might even be better in terms of the tighter places."

TONY FREEMAN - Jack Daniel's Racing Engine Technician:

QUESTION: How much work has gone on in the engine department at Kelly Racing in preparation for this new control camshaft?

"From our point of view there is not much difference in the set-up of the engine," said Tony Freeman.

"It's all the same, just the actual specification of the component is different, which doesn't really affect what we do too much."

QUESTION: What do you expect the changes to be with this new camshaft? Will there be any difference in performance?

"What we expect to see is longer valve train life. It should improve the longevity of the top end of the engine, which is the aim of the control camshaft, to stop all the silly specs and stuff from getting out of control before it costs everyone too much money.

"So it will limit R&D (research and development) because there is no more R&D on camshafts. With the control cam that's gone so it's a money saver."

QUESTION: Will the torque curve of the new cam be smoother?

"From what Todd has said, the way the engine runs, it's more of a linear line, so it's consistent across the power range and RPM range.

"So in theory at the low speed circuits it may actually be an advantage in some ways."

QUESTION: As an engine builder you constantly strive to find things that give you a jump on the competition. How do you feel about another control component coming in, which will save your department money but also restrict your development?

"That's the way the regulations always are. From an engine builder's point of view you would like no regulations at all, because then you've got all the freedoms in the world. But you need a big budget to do that and nobody has the money you would need.

"The more control components they bring in, in a way that's good because at the end of the day it keeps us all in a job, otherwise it just gets too expensive and the sport will not survive.

"It comes down to the smartest engine department, not necessarily the one with the most money."

QUESTION: Engine life is something that has been improving but this new rule will extend that even further?

"The biggest component failure in an engine is generally the valve train in the top end, which is your valve, valve spring or the rockers.

"The idea behind the control cam is that it should be easier on all those components and extend the life of those components, which should be beneficial to engine life and reliability overall."

QUESTION: With the exception of a special endurance event like Bathurst, what is the engine life of a V8 Supercar engine?

"Generally we push for 3000 kilometres and do it quite regularly. We have issues every now and then, which can see us pull them out in the high 2000 km range.

"We've had engines stretch into 3,500 and close to 4000km with no issues. It's a bit of a luck of the draw on some of it, but 3000 km is our target and we achieve it quite consistently."

QUESTION: As an engine builder, do you get a kick out of the competition with other engine departments?

"It's good at circuits like the next event at Darwin, it's going to be a good indication.

"It's got a big long straight and it's horsepower. The only way you get from one end of that straight to the other fast than anyone else is by having more power.

"So when you go to a place like that and you see your car slowly pulling in the car in front, then you know you've got a good engine.

"It is rewarding to see that and you get good satisfaction from it."


- Kelly brothers have runs on the board in Darwin ...

* Rick Kelly enters the SKYCITY Triple Crown having scored the fifth pole position of his career on Sunday at Winton Motor Raceway, the first Armor All Pole Award for the Kelly Racing operation

* Kelly has also scored pole in Darwin, topping qualifying at the 2.87-kilometre circuit in 2007

* Todd Kelly has qualified second in the grid in Darwin on three occasions and was in the top five in both qualifying sessions in his #7 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore last season

- Soft tyres back to 'Wildcard' status in Darwin ...

* The soft-compound Dunlop 'option' tyre will return to 'Wildcard Status' at the SKYCITY Triple Crown in Darwin

* After races at the two previous events at Queensland Raceway and Winton Motor Raceway were conducted solely on the soft tyre, at Hidden Valley Raceway teams will be given just one set of option tyres per car, which have to be used during the Sunday race

-source: kelly racing

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Series Supercars
Drivers Rick Kelly , Jason Bargwanna , Glenn Seton , Todd Kelly , Tony Ricciardello , Jonny Reid , Dale Wood