KELLY BROTHERS LOOK TO REPEAT PHILLIP ISLAND FORM Todd and Rick Kelly are aiming to repeat the form they showed at Phillip Island last season as they head to the first endurance event of the season at the L&H 500 this weekend. The Jack...
KELLY BROTHERS LOOK TO REPEAT PHILLIP ISLAND FORM
Todd and Rick Kelly are aiming to repeat the form they showed at Phillip Island last season as they head to the first endurance event of the season at the L&H 500 this weekend.
The Jack Daniel's Racing team-mates excelled at the fast and flowing Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit in 2009 at the two events held at the 4.445-kilometre circuit.
Todd Kelly won the first of two qualifying races at the L&H 500 last season in his #7 Jack Daniel's Commodore, while he paired with Rick to finish fifth in the main event.
At the second event held at Phillip Island in November, Rick Kelly scored a double podium with third and second place finishes in the two races held.
The Kelly brothers will drive in separate cars in the endurance events this season as a result of a new rule forbidding full-time drivers from teaming up in the same entry.
Nevertheless, both Todd and Rick are confident that their pace at Phillip Island last season can translate into strong results this weekend.
Rick Kelly will team up with Owen Kelly, who scored a podium finish at the first endurance event of the 2007 season when it was held at Sandown International Raceway, finishing in third place alongside Steven Richards.
Dale Wood will join Todd Kelly in the team's #7 Jack Daniel's Commodore, with Todd Kelly also the 2006 polesitter and event winner at Phillip Island in 2006. He was also second overall at Phillip Island in 2002 and 2007.
JACK DANIEL'S RACING QUOTEBOARD:
RICK KELLY - #15 Jack Daniel's Holden Commodore
"We are all very excited to head to not only Phillip Island, but all the remaining rounds of the season, because the circuits in the second half of the year are all places where we were very strong last year," said Rick Kelly.
"That's exciting for us, but with this weekend being an endurance race anything can happen. You can get taken out on lap 1 or you can have some sort of failure given it is such a long race.
"You are always aware of that but everyone in our team is very positive about this event. We are going there aiming to get the most out of ourselves and our equipment. If we do that well, the results will follow.
"I really enjoy the endurance races and quite like sharing my Jack Daniel's car with another driver, changing over at the pit stops and everything these longer races bring.
"It's a long season and it's great to change things up for the endurance races.
"The break has been a good opportunity for our team to achieve a lot of things. One of those is to develop more parts on the cars. We had a test day last week that went quite well and we tried some new things. We've recruited some new people to the team as well, which is all about building us up to be a stronger team.
"The big thing for us now is that we have already been to the tracks where we tend to struggle and where we need to improve. Now we are going to the six tracks where we went very, very well last year.
"We had a car in the top three or four and were capable of contending for a podium all weekend in terms of speed. We are all very excited about that.
"We've kept a close eye on the championship points. Although we are not fighting for first at the moment we are still quite excited about the opportunities we have to improve between now and the end of the year."
OWEN KELLY - #15 Jack Daniel's Holden Commodore
"The lead-up to these endurance events has been the best that I've ever had based on the testing and miles I've had in the cars," said Owen Kelly.
"I've also got that NASCAR Nationwide Series road course race under my belt, which was good preparation for this because it was a long, hot race like we can expect here.
"Rick and I both fit in his Jack Daniel's car really well, our driver changes are right up to speed and we've got that aspect of it well under control.
"We know that we are 100 percent prepared for this weekend when we get to the track.
"I like Phillip Island, it's a good track to drive and it's good preparation for Bathurst. We're quietly confident that we can sneak under the radar quietly and we'll see how we go."
TODD KELLY - #7 Jack Daniel's Holden Commodore
"We've been on a lot of street circuits so far in the first half of the year, which is obviously an area where we need to improve," said Todd Kelly.
"The type of circuit where we go a lot better are the faster, flowing purpose-built circuits. We had a little bit of a sneak preview of Phillip Island with Good Charlotte last Tuesday and it was awesome to get onto a really fast place.
"After a 'not-so-flash' start to the season so far this is where I really want to turn it around and I'm confident that we will be able to do that in the #7 Jack Daniel's Commodore."
DALE WOOD - #7 Jack Daniel's Holden Commodore
"Phillip Island is always a great place to race," said Dale Wood.
"I've been there plenty of times in Formula Fords as well as V8 Supercars and I always look forward to it.
"I'm not sure how the weather is going to play out - we are in the middle of a massive amount of rain in Victoria so there is a good chance we will get some wild weather down there, as can often be the case at Phillip Island.
"It's a good, fast, flowing circuit that can be quite technical as well. I think it will be an interesting race with so many variables in the mix.
"I've been thinking a lot about how well Todd and both the Jack Daniel's cars went at Phillip Island last year. It puts a lot of confidence in Todd and me and the whole team heading to Phillip Island knowing we had such good results there last year.
"Straight away it's a good way to go down there, in the right frame of mind. I've just got to make sure I do my job, do a solid job and keep giving the car back to Todd to do the business."
-source: kelly racing