Perth SuperSprint Race 8 Wrap

by Michael Teychenne
on 07 May, 2017

Nissan Motorsport now heads to Winton Raceway for the next round of the Supercars Championship, following a challenging event at the Perth SuperSprint. The team's test track should provide a great opportunity for improved performances, as the 4 car Nissan squad grappled with tyre degradation issues across today's 83 lap race.

Rick Kelly was the highest placed Nissan this afternoon, crossing the line in 15th. After qualifying in a strong 9th, Kelly utilised a long first stint to climb up to 4th mid-race. The #15 Sengled Racing Altima first visited pit lane on lap 29 for tyres and fuel, and then returned for another service with only 21 laps remaining. This shorter final stint enabled him to slice his way through the midfield, charging from 23rd to 15th at the chequered flag.

Todd Kelly battled his way to 18th today, following a difficult qualifying session that saw him line up 18th on the grid. The #7 carsales Racing driver fought severe tyre wear towards the end of the race, which left him unable to advance further up the order. Kelly now moves up to 14th in the Championship standings.

Michael Caruso qualified in 17th place following a challenging 20-minute session. The #23 Nissan NISMO driver would greet the chequered flag in 19th place. The strategy to run long during the first stint resulted in Caruso first visiting pit lane on lap 29. Another prompt service from the team on lap 57 gave Caruso the challenge of managing his tyres to the flag. Caruso remains the highest placed Nissan in this year's championship.

Simona De Silvestro's afternoon was made difficult following a grid penalty issued after an incident in yesterday's qualifying session. Lining up 26th on the grid, the #78 Team Harvey Norman driver kept out of trouble in the early stages. De Silvestro's first stop on lap 32 was followed up by another scheduled service on lap 62. The abrasive track surface forced De Silvestro to the flag in 24th with little rubber but with plenty of new experience.

Rick Kelly - #15 Sengled Racing
"We battled in a little bit of traffic which hurt our tyres today. It sent us a little further back than we would have liked, and that middle stint was difficult. That part of the race is what cost us a Top 10. It was very enjoyable in the last stint to drive though, but we couldn’t drive back up to where would have liked from the damage caused in that middle stint."

Todd Kelly - #7 carsales Racing
"It was a tough slog to battle for that many laps and pick up only a few spots. It’s a shame to qualify where we did. We went the wrong way in qualifying. Once you qualify 21st, it makes the race very hard. The strategies were too close to have a spread in tyre with those around me. It was good to get some points and to move slightly up in the Championship. Now our attention moves to the next one.

Michael Caruso - #23 Nissan NISMO
"It was a tough weekend for us. We need to go back and understand what we’ve done over the weekend and hopefully, we can learn some lessons heading into the next couple of rounds. As the championship goes on, each round becomes more critical when learning about what this tyre has done to us and how to move forward."