MELBOURNE, Australia – Nissan Motorsport will be looking to maximize the tire life on its four Nissan Altimas at Event Four of the 2013 V8 Supercars Championship at Barbagallo Raceway in Perth, Western Australia this weekend.
The tough and tight 2.42km circuit is notorious for severe tire wear, with team driver Todd Kelly suggesting that the words 'tire degradation' are likely to be the most used in the V8 Supercars pit lane over the course of the event.
Each entry will have 24 new soft compound Dunlop tires each for the event, to be used across all three races.
The event format returns to the 60/60 Super Sprint, first run at Symmons Plains in early April. Race 10 of the championship will be run on Saturday (60/60), followed by two 100km races on Sunday (Races 11 and 12).
The Perth circuit is a popular venue amongst the Nissan drivers. However, neither Todd and Rick Kelly or Michael Caruso and James Moffat have ever taken a race win at the circuit. Todd Kelly was the most recent to enjoy success in the west, claiming a pole position and a podium finish in 2009.
Todd Kelly - #7 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima:
"Those words 'tyre degradation' will come up a lot over the weekend, probably more than anything else," said Todd Kelly.
"I think we'll have to go longer than we ever have on a soft set of tires around Barbagallo. The race winner will be the one who has the best-balanced car, the nicest on its tires and the most patient and sensible driver. If you try and race hard, you'll run out of tires after three laps. It will be a race of management.
"It's quite a unique circuit and very different to what we've driven on before. It's very enjoyable to drive. You have to be very committed in places but patient in others.
"I'm looking forward to seeing exactly what the Altimas do at a completely different style of track. We've learnt so much so quickly and I can't wait to see where we stack up against the others."
Rick Kelly - #15 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima:
"I'm very excited to head to Perth, as the past two race meetings have been on softs and hards and the tire degradation has been nil. Barbagallo, as we've seen in the past, will be different," said Rick Kelly.
"Obviously with the rules in 2013, you don't have to pit unless you want to, so it will be interesting, particularly the Sunday race to see if people try and stick it out for the whole 100km races, or run the risk and pit for new rubber.
"For us in the Altimas, we're keen to get to a new event and new track. We knew we'd struggle in Tasmania, but to come out to Pukekohe and perform quite strongly was very encouraging.
"We want to maintain and improve on some of that form. Pukekohe was the first time that I've felt really comfortable with the car and that Erik (Pender, race engineer #15 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima) and I have had a pretty good direction on set-up."
Michael Caruso - #36 Norton 360 Nissan Altima:
"I really enjoy the Barbagallo circuit. We get fantastic support from everyone over there, so it's great to be welcomed so warmly from everyone," said Michael Caruso.
"It's a really good track technically. It's very difficult. One thing we all know is that it's a reminder of tyre degradation, and you're asking the car to do 50 laps, which is a long way on that track.
"It will be interesting to see how the Altimas go. They've obviously been handling well, and tire life will be the key, so we'll see where we end up.
"Ultimately, our performance will be based on where we qualify. If we qualify strongly, we'll have a great race package. I dare say that we'll move forward in the races because of our car. That's been a common trend over the past few races, which is a huge positive because you don't want to get in your car and know it's going to be a handful."
James Moffat - #360 Norton 360 Nissan Altima:
"I always look forward to heading over to Perth. I've had a lot of good times there – I won in Formula Ford, had my first Carrera Cup podium. Not that that stuff is completely relevant to this weekend, but it has been a happy hunting ground for us," said James Moffat.
"It should be a great event. The 60/60 Super Sprint format is back. It created some exciting racing at Symmons Plains recently, so the rolling start for the second half of that will be interesting.
"We've just got to keep working on the car and make subtle improvements along the way. The weekend is going be a lot about tire degradation and looking after your tires on the soft tires, especially in the two 100km races on Sunday."
10:55 Practice 1
12:05 Practice 2
13:15 Practice 3
09:45 Practice 4
13:45 Race 10
09:35 Qualifying Race 11
10:00 Qualifying Race 12
12:05 Race 11
14:25 Race 12
2013 V8 SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP
Drivers' Standings After Race 9
1. Will Davison 697
2. Jamie Whincup 666
3. Craig Lowndes 591
4. Garth Tander 553
5. Fabian Coulthard 552
6. Jason Bright 539
7. Shane van Gisbergen 532
8. James Courtney 510
9. Jonathon Webb 477
10. Scott McLaughlin 457
13. Rick Kelly 378 (#15 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima)
15. James Moffat 349 (#360 Norton 360 Nissan Altima)
22. Michael Caruso 268 (#36 Norton 360 Nissan Altima)
27. Todd Kelly 151 (#7 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima)
Teams' Standings After Race 9
1. Red Bull Racing Australia (Holden) 1197
2. Pepsi Max Crew FPR (Ford) 1145
3. Brad Jones Racing (Holden) 1106
4. Holden Racing Team (Holden) 1078
5. Tekno Autosports (Holden) 1009
6. Fujitsu Racing GRM (Holden) 775
7. Norton 360 Racing (Nissan) 632
8. Jack Daniel's Racing (Nissan) 529
9. Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport (Holden) 509
10. Erebus Motorsport V8 (Mercedes-Benz AMG) 457
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 248,000 employees globally, Nissan provided customers with more than 4.8 million vehicles in 2011, generating revenue of 9.4 trillion yen ($94.4 billion AUS). With a strong commitment to developing exciting and innovative products for all, Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of models under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. A pioneer in zero-emission mobility, Nissan made history with the introduction of the Nissan LEAF, the first affordable, mass-market, pure-electric vehicle and winner of numerous international accolades, including the prestigious 2011-2012 Car of the Year Japan and 2011 World Car of the Year Awards.
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