IPSWICH, Queensland, Australia – Norton Hornets James Moffat and Michael Caruso are going to Queensland Raceway with a positive attitude for the eighth event of the 2014 V8 Supercars Championship.
It has been three-weeks since the last event in Townsville – an event that provided the Norton Hornets with some up and down results. The break has allowed the team time to refocus and continue its push towards the top 10 in the championship. Caruso currently sits in 12th place – the best of the Nissan Motorsport entries – while Moffat is 16th place.
The Queensland Raceway event features the soft compound tires, with track action kicking off on Friday with three practice sessions. Two qualifying and two 100km races will be held on Saturday, followed by a 200km race on Sunday.
James Moffat, #360 Norton Nissan Altima:
"Realistically, it's going to be a challenging weekend. The layout of the circuit doesn't suit our cars with the package we have at the moment. Having said that, we'll go there with a positive attitude and try and get the most out of it. All we can focus on is trying to get the car handling as well as we possibly can and go from there. Like any round of the championship, it's going to be important to finish all of the races and bank as many points as we can."
Michael Caruso, #36 Norton Nissan Altima:
"It's going to be good to get back in the car after a few weeks off. It has been three weeks, but it feels like a lifetime, so I can't wait to get up into the Queensland sun, get behind the wheel and see how we fair. We're also getting to that point of the year where we are starting to think about the endurance races as well. We have a ride day at Queensland Raceway on the Monday after the event, so we'll get Dean Fiore out into my car and give him some laps. Come endurance time, it's important that we start to get things in order, so it will be great to have him suited up and behind the wheel."
Setup Key for Jack Daniel's Racing at Queensland Raceway
Jack Daniel's Racing drivers Todd and Rick Kelly will be looking to wheel a quick pair of Nissan Altimas out of the transporter next weekend at Queensland Raceway, with car setup a key factor on home test track for the Queensland-based teams.
On paper, the 3.12km long circuit looks simple, but the four right and two left hand corners require a unique setup to achieve quick lap times. The track also provides a challenge for drivers, with precision required to maximize speed, in what is proving to be the closest V8 Supercars championship on record.
An area where the Jack Daniel's Racing duo is looking to capitalize on is tires, with the weekend to run exclusively on the soft compound, which has proven to be to the liking of the cars so far in 2014.
The three qualifying sessions over the weekend will be an area for focus for the Kelly brothers, ahead of Saturday's twin-100km races, and the lone Sunday 200km race.
Todd Kelly, #7 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima:
"Queensland Raceway is a unique circuit compared to a couple of the circuits we have just come from. It has a couple of quite fast corners and a couple of medium speed corners that are quite unique. You need to tune the car a little bit differently to how would at a Townsville or Darwin for instance. It'll be good to get there and see exactly where we are with our cars and what needs to be tuned up on them. There are a couple of little things here and there on our cars that are new since the last round, which will give us a bit of a gain. We're expecting it to be quite challenging, hopefully the faster corners, turns one and two, is where we can claw back some time. I can't wait to get there and see what we can make of the weekend."
Rick Kelly, #15 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima
"Queensland Raceway is one of those tracks that if you don't quite have the ideal car, it becomes very difficult to wring a lap out of it. You have places like Adelaide, Homebush, Gold Coast and Townsville, where you can always hustle the car around, push it over the curbs and try to get something from it, which is certainly not the case at Queensland Raceway. The category is closer now than it ever has been before, so for us there is a focus on getting the cars dialed in as best we can, and from myself just try and get the most out of it. We just need to maximize everything, which is nothing different, but there is really a stronger focus on that, especially in qualifying. We've got a good format for the weekend; the soft tires present a strong opportunity for us to move forward in the races as we look after our tires a little better. We also have a couple of improvements on the car since our last outing, so for me it's very exciting to get back in the car. I'm chomping at the bit to get out there."
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