PUKEKOHE PARK, New Zealand – Rick Kelly and James Moffat now sit 13th and 15th respectively in the 2013 V8 Supercars Championship standings after three events (nine races).
Nissan Motorsport has continued its rise in the V8 Supercars Championship, finishing with four top-10 results at Pukekohe Park in New Zealand on the weekend.
In Nissan's return year to top-level Australian Touring Car racing, factory Nissan Altima driver Rick Kelly (#15 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima) finished seventh in Saturday's Race 7 of the championship, while team-mate James Moffat (#360 Norton 360 Nissan Altima) took ninth place in the same race.
On Sunday, Kelly finished 10th in Race 8, while Moffat took the team's fourth top-10 result of the weekend in Race 9.
After a character-building round at Symmons Plains in Tasmania just one week ago, the progress made by the Nissan Motorsport squad points toward a positive future for the all-new Altima V8 Supercar.
Adding to the team's improving results was the fact that throughout the four races at Pukekohe, the four quartet of Nissan drivers finished inside the top 15 on every occasion except one, where Michael Caruso (#36 Norton 360 Nissan Altima) took 16th place in the final race.
The Nissan Motorsport drivers also moved up or maintained their positions in the championship standings as well, with Rick Kelly now running 13th, James Moffat 15th, Michael Caruso 22nd and Todd Kelly 27th.
The next round of the V8 Supercars Championship will be held at Perth's Barbagallo Raceway in Western Australia on May 3-5. The race meeting will see the second running of the new 60/60 SuperSprint race format.
James Moffat - #360 Norton Nissan Altima
"It was a pretty solid weekend, apart from the silly mistake I made in the first race on Saturday, which cost us a few positions. I'm happy enough. Obviously, we always want more, but to salvage a top-10 result in the last race, adding to our ninth-place finish from Saturday was a decent result. We know we still have a bit of work to do, but I'm very proud of all the guys.'
Rick Kelly - #15 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima
"I'm really excited about scoring top 10 results; we're really coming to grips with the car set-up now and there are not too many corners where others are getting an advantage on us. We know where our weaknesses are and we're really starting to build on our strengths, which is very exciting. To jump into our first top-10 result is great and then to get all the way up to seventh. We're really focused on capitalizing on others' mistakes and aggression at the moment, but we did find time in that last race compared to our rivals and that's what we're after.'
Todd Kelly - #7 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima
"This is a hard place at which to pass, but we actually got the car to where it was performing reasonably well in that last race. It wasn't too bad to drive, but very hard to pass again. In all the passing areas we're trying to make up the ground we lose in other places. Overall, where we ended up for the weekend with the car is quite promising, it's just a shame we didn't get on to that set-up a little bit earlier.'
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