KELLYS SAY TYRE LIFE CRITICAL IN QUEENSLAND Jack Daniel's Racing drivers Todd and Rick Kelly are conscious that preserving their soft tyres will be the key to success at the Ipswich 300 at Queensland Raceway this weekend. This weekend will see...
KELLYS SAY TYRE LIFE CRITICAL IN QUEENSLAND
Jack Daniel's Racing drivers Todd and Rick Kelly are conscious that preserving their soft tyres will be the key to success at the Ipswich 300 at Queensland Raceway this weekend.
This weekend will see Dunlop's softer 'option' tyre used as the only tyre used for racing for the first time in V8 Supercar history.
Racing drivers by instinct want to extract every ounce of pace out of there machines but with the softer compound tyres having both higher grip levels and higher wear rates, drivers will need to conserve their rubber if they want to be competitive over the entire race distance.
While lap records are expected to tumble this weekend, the Kelly brothers say that drivers will have to hold back their enthusiasm to ensure that they do not wear out their softer rubber too quickly, leaving them to flounder to the finish while those with a more conservative approach benefit.
Rick Kelly currently sits in seventh position in the series standings, just four points out of the top five. Having showed strong pace in his #15 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore at the last event in New Zealand, Rick is aiming to have a strong weekend in Ipswich.
Todd Kelly has also shown strong pace this season in the #7 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore but is targeting an improved performance in qualifying with the aim of avoiding the midfield carnage that has caught him out several times so far this season.
JACK DANIEL'S RACING QUOTEBOARD
RICK KELLY - #15 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore:
"We continue to work hard on our cars and in New Zealand our Jack Daniel's Commodore was good," said Rick Kelly.
"In the second race in Hamilton we were fighting for third until we had a problem at our pit stop.
"As a team we have good confidence in our cars now so moving to Queensland it's quite exciting to head to that round, which is the first full soft tyre round.
"We are, as most teams are, a little unsure as to how it's going to go running the full event on that tyre and the set-up it's going to require.
"The key is obviously going to be tyre degradation and how you are going to manage that, because once your tyres do go away the lap times drop away quite dramatically.
"It's good for a change. It's going to probably bring a few different drivers to the front of the field, which is great.
"The soft tyre tended to do that in the past but obviously that was when you had the mix of both soft and hard compound tyres in a race.
"You could see some cars qualify really well and be very fast in the first five or 10 laps, then as their tyres fall off quicker than others you could see them fall back through the pack at a great rate of knots.
"You could end up being 1.5 seconds a lap slower than the leaders if your car doesn't look after its tyres properly.
"So there is going to be a lot of passing and there's going to be a few drivers up the front that may over-cook their tyres while fighting with each other.
"It is really going to be 100 percent about tyre management and it's a new challenge, something different for us and something that I'm looking forward to."
TODD KELLY - #7 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore:
"It's not how fast your car is, it's how well you manage your tyres that's is going to win this event," said Todd Kelly.
"With that in mind I'm really looking forward to the racing this weekend. It's a new challenge and I'm hoping that the soft tyre scenario and everything that it will throw at the teams will end up falling our way and we can get some better results.
"Using the soft tyre for all the racing is something of an unknown so that should create some action out on-track, but I'd certainly like to qualify a bit better to avoid some of the stuff that you can get caught up in mid-pack.
"It's also an exciting weekend for Kelly Racing as a whole.
"We are making our debut in the Fujitsu Series and it's the first time we've run five cars on the one weekend, which is a pretty cool thing for the team.
"It's a massive challenge but we are lucky to have such a great team of professional people so I'm really looking forward to the weekend."
- Soft tyres all round in Queensland ...
* For the first time in V8 Supercar history the two races held at the Ipswich 300 will be staged entirely on the Dunlop 'sprint' tyre
* The softer, faster wearing tyre features higher grip and higher wear rate. It was introduced last year but with only one set given to each team per event
* Each car is allowed the following tyre bank this weekend:
- EIGHT control tyres from previous events (not allowed to be used in races)
- FOUR 'Test' Sprint tyres (to be used in practice only)
- TWENTY Sprint tyres
- TWELVE Wet tyres
- Owen Kelly confirmed at Jack Daniel's Racing ...
* The Kelly Gang has a new recruit with the news that Owen Kelly will race with either Todd or Rick Kelly at the endurance events at Phillip Island and Bathurst later this year
* Owen Kelly will drive Rick Kelly's #15 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore in the first two practice sessions at Queensland Raceway, with those two sessions reserved for Rookie drivers, endurance event Co-Drivers and those drivers sitting outside the top 15 in the series standings
* Former IndyCar Series champion and Indy 500 winner Scott Dixon has also been confirmed as the star 'international' recruit for Jack Daniel's Racing for the Armor All Gold Coast 600 at Surfers Paradise in October
- Kelly Racing makes Fujitsu Series debut in Ipswich...
* Owen Kelly, endurance driver for Jack Daniel's Racing, will drive the team's #77 Metaland Holden Commodore in Round 2 of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series to gain vital track time ahead of the endurance events later this year
* Kelly has an impressive record in the second-tier V8 Supercar series, third on the all-time race win list with 13 victories. Kelly, originally from Tasmania and no relation to Todd and Rick, also has four round wins, seven round podiums, two pole positions and nine fastest laps from his 20 previous Fujitsu V8 Supercar event starts
* The car will be engineered by Jack Daniel's Racing data engineer Peter Craik and prepared by experienced Kelly Racing mechanics Mike Gennery, Daniel Young and Rodney Frith, who all have vast V8 Supercar experience and now hold workshop-based positions
-source: kelly racing