Symmons Plains: Holden Racing Sunday report

Top five for Kelly in wet and wil Symmons Plains V8 Supercar round Todd Kelly has improved one spot on the V8 Supercar Championship Series points table after finishing fifth in today's Ferodo Triple Challenge at Symmons Plains in ...

Top five for Kelly in wet and wil Symmons Plains V8 Supercar round

Todd Kelly has improved one spot on the V8 Supercar Championship Series points table after finishing fifth in today's Ferodo Triple Challenge at Symmons Plains in Tasmania.

Starting seventh in today's first 58 lap race, Kelly was forced to bide his time in a race that began with rain and all cars on wet weather tyres.

Struck behind James Courtney for quite some time, the Gold Coast Indy round winner finally managed to get past at the hairpin on lap 22, though brother Rick managed to pass the pair!

Pitting for slick tyres as the track dried out on lap 29, Kelly resumed in fifth though improved to fourth spot by the end after his brother made a mistake in the race's latter stages.

A second place result to round winner Garth Tander was in the offering for Kelly in the third and final race of the weekend, after he muscled his way past the FPR Falcons of Jason Bright and Mark Winterbottom in two separate manoevures.

The first, where Kelly had his Holden nearly sideways at the hairpin on lap 20, saw him get by Bright, while the second on lap 34 saw him round up Winterbottom around the outside on the run into the tightest corner on the track.

But with just nine laps to go while shadowing Tander, Kelly made an error and slipped wide on the approach to turn one. Managing to clamber back on without damage, the former Bathurst winner resumed to end up fifth in the race and round.

Teammate Mark Skaife again couldn't take a trick as he carved his way through from th 16 on the grid on today's opening race.

Having made a solid start and worked his way well inside the top 10, Skaife was one of the first drivers to pit for slick tyres on the drying track.

While it was a little early to make the switch from the wet weather rubber, it proved to be the correct one and once the pit stops of his rivals had been completed, the fivetime champion found himself sitting strongly in seventh spot.

But the great fight back drive came to naught on lap 47, when the #2 Commodore ran off the road at the end of the back straight and was bogged in the sand trap. A lap earlier Skaife received a hit from behind into the hairpin by James Courtney, which shoved the HRT car into the side of Lee Holdsworth's Holden.

Skaife was able to continue but contact shortly after with John Bowe's Falcon caused damage to the right front wheel. Unable to steer the car, Skaife could do nothing about it running off the road and becoming buried in the sand trap. th Repaired for the final 58lapper, he started from 27 and had worked his way into th 18 by lap 11. th After pitting for slick tyres on lap 22, he had worked his way up further to 16 before contact while passing Dean Canto forced him to retire with damage to the right front of the #2 HRT Commodore.

The V8 Supercar Series will now move to its inaugural round in Bahrain in a fortnight's time.

HRT QUOTEBOOK

Todd Kelly (#22 Holden Racing Team Commodore VZ) "The move on Bright in the last race wasn't actually intentional. I started to lock the rear brakes in the last quarter of the entry to the corner and went in with some pretty decent oversteer. I tried my best to stay off him and we had a light touch but we both came out the other end. The move on Winterbottom was a brave one. It was the first lap after one of the cars had dumped a heap of dirt on the track and I didn't really know how much grip there was."

Mark Skaife (#2 Holden Racing Team Commodore VZ) "I had contact in the last race with Dean Canto while we were having the th Tasmanian Grand Prix for 20 place! In the braking area I was up the inside and there was contact between our wheels. It's grabbed the steering and damaged it. When you're on slicks it's only a one lane race track and it's hard to pass, so you're bold if you go outside that line because it's damp. Surely our luck has to change, it simply can't be like this all the time."

-credit: hrt

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers James Courtney , Garth Tander , Jason Bright , Dean Canto , Mark Skaife , John Bowe , Todd Kelly , Mark Winterbottom , Lee Holdsworth
Teams Holden Racing Team