Surfers Paradise: Jack Daniel's Racing Friday report

KELLY BROTHERS MAKE STEADY START ON THE GOLD COAST Jack Daniel's Racing drivers Todd and Rick Kelly have made a steady start to the Armor All Gold Coast 600 in practice in Surfers Paradise, Queensland today. Putting the disappointment of ...


Jack Daniel's Racing drivers Todd and Rick Kelly have made a steady start to the Armor All Gold Coast 600 in practice in Surfers Paradise, Queensland today.

Putting the disappointment of Bathurst behind them, both Jack Daniel's Commodores were on the pace at the new shortened version of the Surfers Paradise street circuit in Friday practice.

Todd Kelly was 12th fastest for the day, while Rick Kelly was amongst the fastest cars for most of the day but did complete the latter half of the final practice session of the day, his day ended early due to a bent steering arm as a result of a brush with the concrete wall.

Particularly impressive was the form of Jack Daniel's Racing co-drivers Owen Kelly and international IndyCar ace Scott Dixon.

Dixon, making his first ever V8 Supercar start, was right on the pace and within one second of experienced team-mate and former Gold Coast event winner Todd Kelly.


RICK KELLY - #15 Jack Daniel's Holden Commodore

"It's a fiddly little track and it's very hard to get one clear lap in with all the traffic out there," said Rick Kelly.

"So when you put a set of new tyres on there is no guarantee that you can get the most out of them because you can't get a good run.

"I made a mistake on our green set and we didn't get a lap in at all so I'm a little bit disappointed with myself. It bent a part in the steering and it ended our session early.

"I think our Jack Daniel's car was very fast today and we had the pace to be up in the top five. It was a good effort and the entire team was on top of things today.

"Owen also did a great job and was fast. He told me at one stage that he could go even quicker if I wanted but that would involve pushing the limit even further and risking the car, so we just plugged away and did our own thing. There's no point crashing in practice where there are no points on offer.

"We are not far from the front of the pack so we're encouraged, but we can't sit on our hands overnight because everyone will make improvements and pick up more time, so we need to improve just as much, if not more.

"The new hairpin is good and it's a cool little corner. I think I'm still to get it right because there are a fair few changes down that part of the track with walls moved and things.

"The few places where the track has been resurfaced are tricky and they are pretty unforgiving. I found out the hard way when I clipped the wall down the bottom of the track.

"I just went a little wide and it went straight into the fence. So that's something we need to be aware of and will need to keep in mind when we are focusing hard on getting a fast lap in qualifying on green tyres tomorrow morning."

OWEN KELLY - #15 Jack Daniel's Holden Commodore

"The car was reasonably good today, I was happy with it in my session and the whole time keeping a bit up my sleeve so that we could bring it back in one piece," said Owen Kelly.

"It's only Friday, so I definitely had that on my mind. We had a bit of a scrape on the wall in that last session but that's no big deal. We'll see what we can come up with tomorrow."

TODD KELLY - #7 Jack Daniel's Holden Commodore

"The track is all good and we are running a fairly different set in the car and Scott's adapted to it really, really well," said Todd Kelly.

"It is good to have a completely different car to what I am used to this weekend and also have fresh mind in it with Scott that's not used to all of the things the car used to have and how you need to drive it.

"Scott's adapted awesomely to the car and I'm still trying to get my head around of a few things. The two chicanes are probably knocking me around the most so I'll keep thinking about that and whether we slightly change the car to improve those areas for me. I think we're looking pretty good at this point but it's going to be really, really difficult to get a clear lap with all the traffic.

"I did two or three drive around laps to try and get a clear lap near the end there, then I still got held up. It would be really good to maybe split the field in two for qualifying given the situation we've got here but that's just one of the things we need to deal with. The cars that get clear laps will be the ones that get in the top 10."

SCOTT DIXON - #7 Jack Daniel's Holden Commodore

"The margin for error is a lot smaller here on the Gold Coast compared to Queensland Raceway at Wednesday's test," said Scott Dixon.

"In my first session I made a lot of mistakes, once we went to better tyres I really didn't get a lap together so we were sucking pretty bad on that one.

"The second session for me (Practice 3) the Jack Daniel's car was really good. I was quick for most of it and went to some better tyres in the end. I was on a really good lap and (Cameron) McConville screwed us big time when he was on his out lap, he baulked me and it cost me five-tenths of a second, which would have put me P1 by a fair bit at the time.

"All in all the car feels good, it's a little bit different to what Todd is used to because the set-up has changed a bit but I don't know any different. I don't feel like it is too bad. I think there is good speed in the car once Todd gets a clear lap we should be looking good.

"It's still definitely eyes wide open and I'm soaking it all in, the thing that baffles me is the small amount of time between sessions. It gives you very little time to make big changes, or even think about them a little bit. That was definitely the eye opener today."

-source: kelly racing

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Scott Dixon , Rick Kelly , Todd Kelly , Owen Kelly