TOWNSVILLE, Australia - The Nissan Motorsport quartet has collected valuable V8 Supercars Championship points at the Sucrogen Townsville 400 over the weekend.
Rick Kelly kicked off the points haul with a determined 12th place finish in Saturday's first race, with his team-mates James Moffat, Todd Kelly and Michael Caruso finishing 15th, 16th and 18th respectively.
Sunday's race was dominated by strategy, and James Moffat proved the best of the Nissan Altima drivers, taking 14th place, one spot ahead of Todd Kelly.
Rick Kelly and Michael Caruso finished in 20th and 23rd respectively.
The next event on the V8 Supercars Championship calendar will be held at Queensland Raceway in Ipswich, Queensland on July 27-28.
James Moffat - #360 Norton Hornets Nissan Altima
Race 20 qualifying: 24th
Race 20 result: 15th
Race 21 qualifying: 22nd
Race 21 result: 14th
Championship position: 14th
"It was a pretty difficult day again, punctuated by another poor qualifying performance," said James Moffat.
"We need to get a handle on the hard tire, especially in qualifying conditions. As soon as you start the races in the 20s, you're on an uphill battle.
"I battled away in the first stint on the hard tire. The car wasn't great. I put the soft tire on and the car came to life, particularly late in the race, but when you're coming from that far back, it's difficult to do much.
"We probably missed the strategy, not coming in on that Safety Car. We got swamped on the soft tires and lost a lot of track position. Of the cars that didn't take the Safety Car, we might have been the cars that finished the furthest up. Not that it counts for much, but we've stayed in the top half of the championship."
Todd Kelly - #7 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima
Race 20 qualifying: 23rd
Race 20 result: 16th
Race 21 qualifying: 27th
Race 21 result: 15th
Championship position: 25th
"It was a frustrating race, I ended up near last a few times after getting caught up with other cars and then I worked my way back through and once we got into a rhythm, especially on the soft tires, I got a lot of positions back," said Todd Kelly.
"I had a monumental electronic drama in the car from about half race distance, everything just shut down and then the car leaned the engine out and all the gear changes and all the electronics weren't working.
"That cost me a huge amount of time and although it came back for a few laps, it went again towards the end, so given all the dramas we had, 15th is not too bad. The car is certainly fast enough to press on."
Rick Kelly - #15 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima
Race 20 qualifying: 11th
Race 20 result: 12th
Race 21 qualifying: 12th
Race 21 result: 20th
Championship position: 12th
"Qualifying today wasn't too bad, I think everyone was probably a little bit tired after yesterday's race and I didn't feel like I got the most out of the car by a couple of tenths, but even if I gained that I would have only been a few spots further up, so 12th wasn't too bad," said Rick Kelly.
"We made a few changes for the race, the car wasn't quite ideal yesterday and there's no point us going out again on the same setup, so we tried a few things that we thought would work.
"A couple of the tuning items did and I think we had better pace around turn two and three, but it still wasn't quite enough.
"Obviously the interesting part of the race was the Safety Car and differing strategies, and for us we rolled the dice and it just didn't go our way. We lost a lot of track position and it put us back in the 20s unfortunately.
"We also had a little pace issue, not a big one, but we just weren't quite as quick as we could have been."
Michael Caruso - #36 Norton Hornets Nissan Altima
Race 20 qualifying: 26th
Race 20 result: 18th
Race 21 qualifying: 23rd
Race 21 result: 23rd
Championship position: 19th
"It was a tough day. Unfortunately, we got turned around by Brighty and that put us behind the eight-ball," said Michael Caruso.
"It was an uphill battle, so we need to go away and go over things. Obviously, we need a solution to find a way forward.
"It's disappointing, because I thought we had a decent car on softs, but I never got a chance to show it."
2013 V8 Supercars Championship
Driver Points Standings after Race 21
1. Jamie Whincup 1591
2. Craig Lowndes 1480
3. Will Davison 1376
4. Mark Winterbottom 1337
5. Shane Van Gisbergen 1310
6. Garth Tander 1302
7. Fabian Coulthard 1291
8. Jason Bright 1269
9. James Courtney 1243
10. Jonathon Webb 1104
12. Rick Kelly 905 (#15 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima)
14. James Moffat 825 (#360 Norton Nissan Altima)
19. Michael Caruso 637 (#36 Norton Nissan Altima)
25. Todd Kelly 532 (#7 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima)
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 more than 267,000 employees globally, Nissan provided customers with 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 over 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.
# # #