SYMMONS PLAINS, Australia – The Jack Daniel's Racing Nissan Altimas of Rick and Todd Kelly endured a trying weekend at Symmons Plains Raceway, with the pair struggling for pace in the 200km long race.
Rick started the 84 lap encounter from grid position 18, and elected to take his first pit stop at the conclusion of the opening lap.
After stopping again at the race's mid-point, Rick drove home to finish in 20th place, one spot ahead of brother Todd. A longer first stint saw Todd pit on lap 20 from seventh position, however he wasn't able to hold station after the service.
Following the weekend, Rick Kelly has slipped to 11th in the point standings, with Todd Kelly sitting 23rd. The V8 Supercar Championship continues next weekend with the third event of the season at Winton Motor Raceway.
JACK DANIEL'S RACING QUOTEBOARD
TODD KELLY - #7 Jack Daniel's Racing Nissan Altima:
Qualifying Race 6- 21st
Race 6- 21st
"We need to go and have a good hard look at ourselves after this weekend. The performance we had was pretty clear with all four cars finishing nose to tail," said Todd Kelly. "We just didn't have the pace, and a lot of work needs to be done. We've got a lot of work to do before Winton. It's going to be a busy few days."
RICK KELLY - #15 Jack Daniel's Racing Nissan Altima:
Qualifying Race 6- 18th
Race 6- 20th
"It was a tough day in the office. It was just a tough weekend," said Rick Kelly. "We had very bad luck yesterday with the brake failure and getting helped off the track, it's all part of life. We really wanted to come out today and capitalize on the longer race, we like longer races with the strategy and pit stops, there's plenty of time to race to a good result. The guys did a great job with the stops, but unfortunately we just didn't have the pace. We haven't quite got the straight line speed we need, but we didn't have the setup here.
"We go to tracks as a team where we are extremely strong, and we go to tracks where we are weaker. I think a lot of that is down to the new generation car. It's good to get this one out of the way early in the season. It's a bad track for us, and now we head to the best track for us at Winton. We'll have a look at what we need to do for next year at Symmons Plains, but we are definitely excited for the tracks coming up after Winton where we will be strong."
Frustrating day for the Norton Hornets in Tasmania
Michael Caruso and James Moffat have endured a frustrating day in their Norton Hornets at Symmons Plains Raceway, Tasmania. Caruso started the day on a high, qualifying a promising 12th place, but the 30-year-old was not capable of running with the leaders and slipped back. He eventually finished 19th – the best of the four-car Nissan Motorsport team. Moffat qualified and finished in 22nd place.
Michael Caruso, #36 Norton Nissan Altima
Race 4 Qualifying: 23rd
Race 4 Result: 21st
Race 5 Qualifying: 20th
Race 5 Result: 16th
Race 6 Qualifying: 12th
Race 6 Result: 19th
"Today started off quite good. I put together the best qualifying lap I've ever done around here. I thought it was a ripper," said Michael Caruso.
"Considering the package we have, I was confident starting in 12th place. I thought we'd move forward, but we didn't, and it's quite embarrassing. The performance of all four cars was not acceptable. We got our pants kicked and it's important that we get to work straight away and have a serious look at ourselves."
James Moffat, #360 Norton Nissan Altima
Race 4 Qualifying: 17th
Race 4 Result: 18th
Race 5 Qualifying: 18th
Race 5 Result: 13th
Race 6 Qualifying: 22nd
Race 6 Result: 22nd
"It was a pretty frustrating day for myself and all of Nissan Motorsport today," said James Moffat. "It was a long 84 laps and I think it was pretty obvious to everybody that we had no speed. The biggest thing for me is that I was struggling to match it with my teammates, but we were all struggling to be anywhere near the rest of the field.
"It's not a good situation to be in and hopefully we can improve. It's extremely disappointing after a reasonably solid start to the season at Adelaide. We'll be pushing hard at Winton next week, because there's no way we want to have a race meeting like this again."
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