Nissan V8 Supercars driver and Motorsport.com columnist Rick Kelly endured a tough first day at Bathurst.
This place can bite.
I think we’ve seen it every Thursday that I’ve ever been here that there is always significant damage in someone’s camp, and unfortunately today it was us.
My co-driver Dave Russell just had a slight mishap into a very unforgiving section of the track at The Cutting. He locked a rear tyre, and that was it
That’s just what The Mountain is like. It’s a tough corner, I had a little oversteer through there myself in the opening session, and it only just snuck around on him. Unfortunately it was enough to do some fairly significant damage.
It’s just a part of motorsport, you’ve got to take the good with the bad.
Fortunately we’ve got some incredibly hard working guys here in Jack Daniel’s Racing, so they have swung in and got to work on tearing the car down and assessing the damage.
Over the years we haven’t given them too much panel beating to do, but I’m entirely confident they will have the car back on the track, brand new for tomorrow’s practice sessions.
The positive for us is that all four Nissans have shown really good progress, especially when you compare it to Thursday last year, the cars are really strong.
Our car certainly felt really really good, so at the moment we are just really focussed on getting the car back into a straight condition, and get it ready for the rest of the weekend.
Even though we have essentially dropped a session-and-a-half because of the accident, with the strong direction we’re getting from the other three cars, I don’t think we will be too far behind the eight ball.
Although it would be nice to make the Top 10 shootout, we’re eyes forward to the race, and between now and lights out there is still 195 minutes of on-track running to complete.
The track itself is in pretty good condition. I remember this time last year, all of the drivers were pretty unnerved by the conditions and how the cars were handling the new surface.
Last year we definitely weren’t where we wanted to be, but this year we have come out of the box with a car that is a lot more predictable, which generally gives you some good confidence.