Sandown:Jack Daniel's Racing preview

TWO DIFFERENT APPROACHES FOR TODD AND RICK KELLY AHEAD OF SANDOWN Jack Daniel's Racing drivers Todd and Rick Kelly will adopt two different approaches in their quest for a podium finish at the Norton 360 Sandown Challenge in Melbourne this ...


Jack Daniel's Racing drivers Todd and Rick Kelly will adopt two different approaches in their quest for a podium finish at the Norton 360 Sandown Challenge in Melbourne this weekend.

Rick Kelly, who lies eighth in the 2009 V8 Supercar Championship Series standings, is determined to climb back up the leaderboard after suffering his first DNF for the season in Townsville.

Rick Kelly dropped two spots in the points standings as a result, but is confident that the #15 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore has the pace required for strong results in this weekend's two races.

While Rick Kelly aims at jumping into the top five in the points tally, brother and team-mate Todd Kelly has different priorities.

Some horror luck so far this season sees Todd Kelly down in 21st in the points standings, but that stat does not truly reflect the pace of the #7 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore.

Todd Kelly, a two-time Sandown event winner, is now concentrating hard on the engineering development of the team's cars as well as pushing hard for outright race results.

The Melbourne-based team will enjoy a home event this weekend at the 3.1-kilometre Sandown circuit, where both Kelly brothers have a history of success, including a second place when paired together for the 2006 Sandown 500.


Rick Kelly - #15 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore:

QUESTION: Sandown is something of a home track for you and Todd and it's also a place where you have both enjoyed some success.

"Sandown is a track where Todd and I have had some good results before," said Rick Kelly.

"The year's previous to last year it was an endurance event, so we've all done a million miles around that track and it's one that we really enjoy.

"It's good racing at Sandown as a sprint event rather than an endurance event because it's something a little bit different.

"I think for Sandown this time around, we're really hoping for a good result and I think it's certainly about our time to get that. We've had a bit of bad luck that's hindered us or that's stopped us from finishing up there on the podium.

"The biggest variable is going to be the weather and at this time of year there is always going to be a high chance of rain in Melbourne. I'm pretty excited about the opportunity for us to see what our Jack Daniel's Commodores are like in the wet.

"Both Todd and I have always been drivers that tend to get good results in the wet, so that's something that's pretty exciting for us.

"Mixing the weather in with the soft compound tyre, it's a weekend that is going to be pretty unpredictable."

QUESTION: How hard is it going to be to juggle what race you run the soft tyre in versus what the weather is going to do?

"You could save the soft tyre for Sunday, only to wake up and see it pour down with rain all day," said Rick Kelly.

"I think they need to be pretty smart and very careful about that. I'm not sure what the officials are going to do. I'd imagine that they'll have to think about it.

"You will lose the advantage of running the tyre if that was the case, so that in itself is a penalty of sorts. Until we find out what the official word is, we need to keep that in mind.

"You're going to see most cars run the soft tyre either at the start of Saturday's race or at least some time on Saturday, if it's dry on Saturday afternoon, so that you don't get caught out by the weather on Sunday."

Todd Kelly - #7 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore:

QUESTION: So far your pace has been strong this season, but you've had more than your share of bad luck. You're obviously keen to turn that around for Sandown?

"We've got a bit of experience at that place and have had a good car there in the past in both the wet and the dry," said Todd Kelly.

"So we're confident that we'll be able to nail the set-up on the Jack Daniel's Commodore. Our biggest issue is a few dramas that we've been having with our engines so far this year, and we've made a heap of changes in that area from Townsville and it looks like we've made a fair bit of ground on that.

"So we're looking forward to just getting through a clean weekend and seeing whether we've fixed these engine dramas, and if we have, this is probably one of many events from now to the end of the year where there's a good chance that both Rick and I will potentially have a bit of success."

QUESTION: Rick is right up there in the points, but due to bad luck, the points are no longer as much of a concern to you. Does that change your approach, looking more perhaps to race results and the enduros?

"There's a lot of stuff that we're trying on my car for Sandown, a lot of development stuff that we've been working on, that we actually want to try on the track, which is a good thing for us," said Todd Kelly.

"I can focus a lot more on trying to better our complete package and overall make both our Jack Daniel's Commodores faster. You always turn these things into a positive and Rick's goal is consistency now and gathering points and mine is being able to push a little bit harder and take a few more risks for results.

"As well as that, it enables us to test as many things as we possibly can on the car, which is obviously a pretty big bonus given the limited amount of testing that we're able to do."


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Series Supercars
Drivers Rick Kelly , Todd Kelly