SYDNEY, Australia – Rick Kelly has finished as the highest Nissan Motorsport driver in the 2013 V8 Supercars Championship – the return year for Nissan to top-level Australian touring car racing.
Kelly brought home his #15 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima in 18th place in Sydney on Sunday, the final race of this year's competitive championship.
Kelly was the most consistent of the Nissan Altima drivers in 2013, taking 12 top 10 results across the course of the season and finishing inside the top half of the field.
It was the best overall result of any of the new manufacturers in this year's title.
Rick finished one place behind Jack Daniel's Racing teammate Todd Kelly, who finished the year in 25th overall.
Norton Nissan driver Michael Caruso looked like he was best the best of the Altimas in the last race, but fuel strategy cost him a real shot at a top result. He ended up shadowing the Jack Daniel's entries in 19th place. Caruso finished 23rd overall in this year's championship.
Caruso's Norton teammate James Moffat had a disappointing final race of 2013, failing to finish due to a driveline issue. After a competitive start to the season, including his history-making win at Winton in August, Moffat finished the year in 18th overall.
The V8 Supercars Championship heads into its off-season now, but it is just a 68 day break before the cars hit the track at Sydney Motorsports Park for the 2014 pre-season test day on 15 February 15 in Sydney, New South Wales.
Michael Caruso - #36 Norton Nissan Altima:
"We were running really well for the majority of the race, so it's a real shame to finish down in 19th," said Michael Caruso.
"The fuel burn on the Altima is still not as good as our rivals, but we know that and we were always venerable.
"We've got another big off-season, because we know we have some big gains to make and we know we have to launch into 2014 bigger and better."
James Moffat - #360 Norton Nissan Altima:
"A driveline related problem put us out today. I felt like I had a problem four or five laps prior to that. It was still shifting OK, but there was a strange noise after each shift," said James Moffat.
"It's very disappointing to end the season like that. We didn't have a quick car as it was and I didn't have much to fight with.
"It's not good to have a Norton car finish on the sidelines again. It's probably happened too many times in the back half of this season and it's definitely something we need to improve on.
"We've had some get highs this year, including our win at Winton, so I need to thank Norton, Toshiba, Steadfast and Nissan for their fantastic support. I have full confidence that 2014 will be a much stronger year for us."
Rick Kelly - #15 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima:
"It was a difficult day today, the temperature was a bit higher, so it was more challenging in the car, but it was still a good race and I'm happy I brought the car home," said Rick Kelly.
"I followed big brother home towards the end and he just had a bit too much for us to try and sneak by, so he did a really good job.
"It's been an interesting year and for me. I've been in the category for well over 10 years, and it was the biggest learning year that we've ever had as far as where we are with the car, and what we need to do to get it towards the front.
"We've had some highs, and we've had some lows, but I think we've punched above our weight a lot of the time with team work and a solid package, and a car that was good on days, but also tough on days with the straight line speed.
"When you look at the championship, there are a lot of cars behind that probably had more speed than us, so you have to be happy with that and keep focused on next year and where we can improve."
Todd Kelly - #7 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima:
"That was a tough race out there and a lot hotter than yesterday, the set of tires I had in the middle stint felt really bad and I was all over the place, but the last set of tires felt like they griped up a lot more," said Todd Kelly.
"It's was a tough day, as usual I ended up with a few other Nissans around towards the end, but it was good to come home and have all four cars nice and straight.
"If it wasn't for a little bit of a fuel economy deficiency and the way those safety cars fell, we could have been a lot further up and we certainly had the pace to be further up than where we finished, so we'll improve that for next year and have another go.
"You're always disappointed unless you win, which we only had one go at this year, but all in all it was here that we rolled the race car out for the very first time, 12 months ago, and that's gone pretty quick.
"When you look back at how much development we've done and how much we've improved the car, it's been a really good year. We're probably 80 percent of the way there, and with the engine and aero improvements over the break, I think next season will be a solid year for us."
2013 V8 Supercars Championship
Final Driver's Points Standings after Race 36
1. Jamie Whincup 3094
2. Craig Lowndes 2966
3. Will Davison 2799
4. Mark Winterbottom 2793
5. Shane Van Gisbergen 2508
6. Fabian Coulthard 2501
7. Jason Bright 2381
8. Garth Tander 2322
9. David Reynolds 2058
10. Scott McLaughlin 1934
14. Rick Kelly 1754 (#15 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima)
18. James Moffat 1448 (#360 Norton Nissan Altima)
23. Michael Caruso 1233 (#36 Norton Nissan Altima)
25. Todd Kelly 1139 (#7 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima)
2013 V8 Supercars Championship
Final Driver's Points Standings after Race 36
1. Red Bull Racing Australia 6100
2. Pepsi Max Crew FPR 5617
3. Brad Jones Racing 4927
4. Tekno Autosports 4474
5. Holden Racing Team 4330
6. Fujitsu Racing GRM 3340
7. Jack Daniel's Racing – Nissan Motorsport 2958
8. Norton Hornets – Nissan Motorsport 2711
9. Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport 2285
10. Erebus Motorsport V8 2247
2014 V8 Supercars Championship Schedule
Pre-Season Test Day (Sydney Motorsports Park, NSW) 15 February 2014
1. Clipsal 500 (Adelaide, SA) 27 February-2 March 2014 N/C. F1 Australian Grand Prix (Albert Park, VIC) 13-16 March 2014
2. Tasmania 400 (Symmons Plains, TAS) 28-30 March 2014
3. Winton 400 (Winton, VIC) 4-6 April 2014
4. ITM 500 Auckland (Pukekohe, NZL) 24-27 April 2014
5. Perth 400 (Barbagallo, WA) 16-18 May 2014
6. SKYCITY Triple Crown Darwin 400 (Hidden Valley, NT) 20-22 June 2014
7. Townsville 500 (Townsville, QLD) 4-6 July 2014
8. Coates Hire Ipswich 400 (Ipswich, QLD) 1-3 August 2014
9. Sydney Motorsport Park 400 (Eastern Creek, NSW) 22-24 August 2014
10. Wilson Security Sandown 500 (Sandown, VIC) 12-14 September 2014
11. Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 (Mount Panorama, NSW) 9-12 October 2014
12. ARMOR ALL Gold Coast 600 (Surfers Paradise, QLD) 24-26 October 2014
13. Sargent Security Phillip Island 400 (Phillip Island, VIC) 16-16 November 2014
14. Sydney 500 (Sydney Olympic Park, NSW) 5-7 December 2014
About Nissan Motor Company
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan's second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with approximately 236,000 employees globally, Nissan sold more than 4.9 million vehicles and generated revenue of 9.6 trillion yen (USD 116.16 billion) in fiscal 2012.
Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of more than 60 models under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. In 2010, Nissan introduced the Nissan LEAF, and continues to lead in zero-emission mobility. The LEAF, the first mass-market, pure-electric vehicle launched globally, is now the best-selling EV in history.
For more information on our products, services and commitment to sustainable mobility, visit our website at http://www.nissan-global.com/EN.
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