Positive opening day for Jack Daniel's Racing at the Armor All Gold Coast 600

PRACTICE 4 - Rick Kelly and Tim Blanchard completed the final 40-minute practice session following on from the international drivers two sessions earlier in the day.

Still running on their bank of old tyres Rick ran strongly all session and visited the pits on a couple of occasions making front suspension changes as he fine tuned the car.

Rick Kelly, Jack Daniels Racing
Rick Kelly, Jack Daniels Racing

Photo by: John Maricic

In the final five minutes Rick bolted on a set of green soft tyres to evaluate the car on the new rubber and set a time.

Rick’s lap was thwarted after a large oil trail was deposited on the track rendering it unsuitable for any fast laps.

Despite this he finished the session 11th fastest.

Tim Blanchard continued to improve his lap times and by the end of the session he had carved almost 2 seconds off his session one time to end the day 27th fastest.

This final session featured a single red flag, to retrieve pieces of Garth Tander’s damaged HRT Commodore after he locked a front-wheel into the first chicane before breaking his suspension on the turn 2 kerb.

Top 10
1 Michael Caruso
2 Mark Winterbottom
3 D.Reynolds/N.Heidfeld
4 Tony D’Alberto
5 Jamie Whincup
6 Will Davison
7 T.Slade/D.Brabham
8 James Moffat
9 J.Courtney/D.Turner
10 Craig Lowndes
11 Rick Kelly
27 Tim Blanchard

Rick Kelly: “We worked through the four practice sessions and got the car tuned up and a bit faster and adapting to the new kerbing.

Today went really well, Graham (Rahal) got up to speed very well in his two sessions so we are pretty comfortable. We put a new set of tyres on at the end of the session but there was oil everywhere, which cost us a heap of time.

I am confident we are looking strong for the weekend”.

Graham Rahal: “Today was really good and I'm very pleased with the way things have gone. I think we made a lot of improvements and I think the car is pretty solid.

Our pace on old tyres was good compared to others. I’m pretty pleased and there’s a lot of learning to do and improving to do. I feel very good about it”

Marco Andretti: “Today wasn’t bad, lap time wise I’m not pleased but we ran on older tyres on the 7 car. It would be fun to have a go on new rubber but that wasn’t the scenario today. I’m having a blast and trying to keep it off the walls”.

Tim Blanchard: “It was a pretty tough day and we have been chipping away at out times and have made some pretty big improvements throughout the day.

It was my first time on new soft tyres and I’m still learning. But I am very confident we will find a few tenths tomorrow and move up the grid”.

PRACTICE 2 & 3 - The international drivers who partnering the V8 Supercar drivers at the Armor All Gold Coast 600 this weekend, had two exclusive 40-minute sessions.

For many of them, the circuit was familiar but a V8 Supercar is very different to the Indycar’s that many have raced around the Gold Coast circuit in the past.

Jack Daniel's Racing’s Indycar stars Marco Andretti in car #7 and Graham Rahal used the first session to familiarise themselves with the cars at this track having only spent an introductory day to V8 Supercars at Queensland Raceway earlier this week.

By the end of the two forty minute sessions Rahal’s best time was a 1min 13.8823 which was 22nd fastest with Marco 26th after posting a time of 1min 14.2698.

Top 10
1 Marc Lieb
2 Ryan Briscoe
3 Simon Pagenaud
4 Stephane Sarrazin
5 Richard Lyons
6 David Brabham
7 Mika Salo
8 Sebastien Bourdais
9 Lucas Di Grassi
10 Nick Heidfeld
22 Graham Rahal
26 Marco Andretti

PRACTICE 1 - Rick Kelly in the #15 Jack Daniel's Racing Commodore had an excellent opening practice for the Armor All Gold Coast 600 and posted the sixth fastest time.

The 40-minute session was interrupted by two separate red flag incidents, both at the turn 1 chicane. Taz Douglas and David Reynolds both rode over the new and much higher kerbing and hit the wall on the apex of turn 2.

Douglas lost the front left door and broke the rear suspension, while a couple of laps later Reynolds lost a left rear door, but sustained no further damage.

Top 10
1 W.Davison/M.Salo
2 Greg Ritter
3 M.Winterbottom/W.Powe
4 Craig Lowndes
5 James Courtney
6 Rick Kelly
7 Lee Holdsworth
8 Michael Caruso
9 Tony D’Alberto
10 Steve Owen

Source: Jack Daniel's Racing

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Nick Heidfeld , James Courtney , David Brabham , Mika Salo , Stéphane Sarrazin , Graham Rahal , Garth Tander , Sébastien Bourdais , Will Davison , Ryan Briscoe , Marco Andretti , Richard Lyons , Marc Lieb , Rick Kelly , Craig Lowndes , Jamie Whincup , Mark Winterbottom , Steve Owen , Greg Ritter , Michael Caruso , Lee Holdsworth , Simon Pagenaud , David Reynolds , James Moffat , Taz Douglas , Tim Blanchard
Article type Practice report
Tags andretti, blanchard, gold coast, jack daniels, kelly, nissan, rahal, v8supercars