Nissan Motorsport is excited for the weekend ahead following today's two practice sessions at the WD-40 Phillip Island 500.
Todd Kelly recorded the 3rd fastest time in the day's first 40-minute practice session, as the carsales Racing driver tackled the early damp conditions. Kelly is confident the team can do their homework overnight and compete strongly during tomorrow's qualifying and 250km race.
Michael Caruso fought his way to be 4th fastest at the conclusion of the day's second practice session. Today the Nissan NISMO driver welcomed the return of his engineer, Steven Todkill, following the birth of his first child.
Rick Kelly was 14th fastest in both of the sessions. The #15 Sengled Racing driver dedicated the day to improving the set-up of his Altima, and is confident of where the car is positioned leading into tomorrow's qualifying.
The damp conditions gave Simona De Silvestro a baptism of fire today, at what is one of Australia's fastest racetracks. The day's first session was dedicated to learning the track for the first time and exploring the limits. A brief excursion off-track proved she was keen to use all the road (and more!). Simona's fastest time was a 1:31.81 and was 23rd quickest.
Todd Kelly - #7 carsales Racing
"We were pretty lucky to have a dry track here all day. I've had a lot worse here with wind direction and condition changes, so today wasn't too bad. We had a reasonable car in that first session, and then everyone caught up by the second session. Hopefully, we can gather it and get back there by tomorrow.
Rick Kelly - #15 Sengled Racing
"We just wanted to get through some set-up changes to move forward as good as we could today. We had some things that took time off us in that first session but made some good gains in that second session. The pace didn't quite show on the greens, so we'll look at that. We've got enough good ingredients in front of us to make a good car for tomorrow.
Michael Caruso - #23 Nissan NISMO
"We have room for improvement, which is great because we come here to win races. Overnight we'll have a look at everything. As a category, we are going a lot faster here than we have in the past. We do need to proceed with a bit of caution, with some guys blowing front tyres. We'll approach it as we normally do and hopefully, we're there."
Simona De Silvestro - #78 Team Harvey Norman
"It was a good day today. During the first session, it was all about learning the track and all that. I tried to push a little bit too hard and locked up. The car feels pretty good, and the track is a lot of fun. I just need to put a lap together on new tyres and I think we should be okay. The race will be long and intense because you're so on the edge. But it's a fun place; I really like it.