Winton: Jack Daniel's Racing preview

KELLYS PREDICT MORE PASSING AND MORE ACCIDENTS FROM OPTION TYRE Jack Daniel's Racing drivers Todd and Rick Kelly are predicting more passing -- and more accidents -- when a softer 'option' tyre is introduced into V8 Supercar competition for the...

KELLYS PREDICT MORE PASSING AND MORE ACCIDENTS FROM OPTION TYRE

Jack Daniel's Racing drivers Todd and Rick Kelly are predicting more passing -- and more accidents -- when a softer 'option' tyre is introduced into V8 Supercar competition for the first time at Winton Motor Raceway in rural Victoria this weekend.

The Bathurst winning brothers see the massive speed difference between the two tyre compounds -- estimated at over two seconds per lap at Winton -- as a catalyst for more contact between cars.

Each car is permitted to use one set of Dunlop's soft compound SP Sport Maxx Sprint tyre during one of this weekend's two races.

Rick Kelly feels that as faster cars using the soft tyre approach those on the harder compound rubber, the vastly increased closing speeds will lead to more accidents.

"With a lot of the driving we've got in the category, there are going to be a lot of misjudgments between drivers and there's going to be a lot of accidents, in my predications, because cars will be misjudging how fast the car in front of them is going at any time," said Rick Kelly.

"I'm interested to see how that plays out and you will need to be aware that there are going to be cars that have got quite a considerable speed advantage, or disadvantage, at certain times."

Todd Kelly, a previous polesitter at Winton, echoed his brother's sentiments.

"There will probably be a lot more passing and there will be a huge disparity in lap times between cars on the soft and hard tyres," said Todd Kelly.

"My tip is that there will be a lot more safety cars than we normally see because there will be blokes trying to pass from three car lengths back when they're on the soft tyres."

Despite the added element of drama, both Jack Daniel's Racing drivers are excited by the prospect of a new variable being thrown into the V8 Supercar mix.

"At Jack Daniel's Racing we've been busily working away at trying to come up with the best strategy for the soft tyre over the weekend and we're pretty confident that we've got something that should work and it's probably a little bit left-field, what we're doing, so I'm hoping that will be a big benefit for us on the weekend."

Rick Kelly has a better idea than most of what's in store for drivers and teams this weekend, having driven a Jack Daniel's Commodore in a tyre test at Winton late last year, helping Dunlop with the introduction of the new tyre along with former team-mate Garth Tander.

JACK DANIEL'S RACING QUOTEBOARD

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

QUESTION: Rick, you were one of the drivers that participated in the testing of the softer 'option' tyres. Does that give you a head start?

"For me that's going to be quite good," said Rick Kelly.

"The soft compound tyre is massively different to the other tyre and it requires a different car set-up to get the most out of it as well.

"For us we're pretty glad that we had the opportunity to run it before and I was glad that I had the opportunity to learn how to drive the car around the tyre as well.

"So for us that is going to be interesting on the weekend. The rules are also quite interesting, in that you can run a set of the soft tyres in practice, but not qualifying, and then again in one race, so it's going to be interesting on the weekend to see which team runs it during which race and in what area of the race as well. It's going to be interesting from the spectator's point of view to see that.

"At Jack Daniel's Racing we've been busily working away at trying to come up with the best strategy for the soft tyre over the weekend and we're pretty confident that we've got something that should work and it's probably a little bit left-field, what we're doing, so I'm hoping that will be a big benefit for us on the weekend."

Q: How much faster do you expect the option tyre to be at Winton?

"It's a good couple of seconds quicker (per lap) so that in itself will play a big part in the strategy because it does fall away quite quickly, so you're going to have to get the tyre off the car," said Rick Kelly.

"The thing that no one's really thought about that's going to be a massive factor on the weekend is that there is going to be a massive speed difference between cars that are on that tyre and cars that aren't.

"With a lot of the driving we've got in the category, there are going to be a lot of misjudgments between drivers and there's going to be a lot of accidents, in my predications, because cars will be misjudging how fast the car in front of them is going at any time.

"I'm interested to see how that plays out and you will need to be aware that there are going to be cars that have got quite a considerable speed advantage, or disadvantage, at certain times."

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

"It will be an interesting event," said Todd Kelly.

"There will probably be a lot more passing and there will be a huge disparity in lap times between cars on the soft and hard tyres.

"My tip is that there will be a lot more safety cars than we normally see because there will be blokes trying to pass from three car lengths back when they're on the soft tyres.

"As far as the team goes, I can't wait to get back in the car.

"The Jack Daniel's Commodores were really quick at New Zealand in practice and our weekend went downhill from there, so we would have liked to have got a good result there but it didn't happen.

"The potential is there and the speed is building and building as we develop the cars so we're at that point of the year where I just can't wait to get in the car at every race meeting and see if we've made improvements."

-creidt: kellyracing.com.au

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Garth Tander , Rick Kelly , Todd Kelly