19 AUG 2017
Top 6 Finish For Nissan
Nissan Motorsport has recorded a Top 6 result this afternoon following the first race of the Red Rooster Sydney SuperSprint.
Michael Caruso started the day strongly by setting the fastest time in this morning's final practice session, recording an impressive 1:28.86. The #23 Nissan NISMO driver then started today's 120km race from 11th on the grid and charged hard to cross the line in 6th. In the process of completing the race, the #23 crew also qualified for the 4-team Pirtek Pitstop Challenge final - to be held at Bathurst in October.
Rick Kelly recovered from a 17th placed grid position to cross the line in 12th. The #15 Sengled Racing driver is continuing to tune his car following final practice this morning, with Kelly confident the car is heading in the right direction.
Simona De Silvestro qualified 22nd for this afternoon's race, as the #78 Team Harvey Norman driver continued to work on extracting the most out of the tyres. After surviving a chaotic race start, De Silvestro made several passes and completed her pit stop just as the safety car was called. At the conclusion of 31 laps, De Silvestro crossed the line in 22nd.
Todd Kelly suffered a puncture on lap 16 which ripped apart the rear of the #7 carsales Altima. After starting 13th on the grid, Kelly battled with team-mate Caruso in the early stages before suffering the tyre drama just before his pit stop. The damage caused by the puncture led to a late-race safety car. Following extensive work in the pits, Kelly crossed the line in 26th and two laps down.
Sunday at the Red Rooster Sydney SuperSprint consists of a 20-minute qualifying and 200km race.
Michael Caruso - #23 Nissan NISMO
"The start was good with me and I was racing TK door-to-door, which was good fun. We got stuck behind one of the Prodrive cars, when we got by them we took off. The car was good in the middle there, but the safety car made everything null and void for everyone. Let's hope we can qualify into the Top 10 tomorrow and do some damage from there."
Rick Kelly - #15 Sengled Racing
"It's probably not a bad end of the day for us, considering where we qualified. We need to do a little bit more work overnight because we have one significant handling issue we've not been able to tune out. Twelfth is not a great finish on the timesheets, but it's a good result from where we were at the start of the weekend and even from where we qualified in seventeenth. We'll look into it tonight and find some more pace."
Simona De Silvestro - #78 Team Harvey Norman
"That was a chaotic race at the start there. We were pretty slow in a straight line when compared to my team-mates, so we'll need to look into that. I got hit a couple of times while passing people, so I'd gain a position and then lose two, which was annoying. It was quite hard to get by people around here. My start was solid, but there were still a few issues we need to clean up for tomorrow. Overall, a few things were positive, and a few things were negative."
Todd Kelly - #7 carsales Racing
"Everything was going pretty good, then the tyre blew. That was pretty much the end of it. We were pitting that lap, and it gave no warning and blew. As I was trying to get back, it completely delaminated and took half the back of the car with it. That was what knocked around our pit stop time, just trying to get the car good enough to head back out. It was unfortunate, but tomorrow gives us another chance to qualify and hopefully have some better luck."