HOME OF THE NISSAN MOTORSPORT SUPERCARS TEAM

NISSAN SHOWS GOOD PACE IN IPSWICH PRACTICE

by Michael Teychenne
on 20 July, 2018

Nissan Motorsport has shown strong pace across today's opening practice for the Ipswich SuperSprint, as the 2018 Supercars Championship moves into the second half of the sixteen race season.

Rick Kelly was the fastest Altima across today's 2 45-minute practice sessions. The #15 Castrol Racing entry was the quickest car for most of the day's first practice session, before being impeded on his final lap. The resulting 2nd fastest time in opening practice was then backed up by the 4th fastest time in the day's second session.

The #23 Drive Racing entry required extensive TLC from the team ahead of this weekend - following an incident at the Townsville 400 two weeks ago - but given the strong speed Michael Caruso demonstrated behind the wheel today, you wouldn't know it. The fully repaired Nissan was quick in opening practice, with Caruso recording the 4th fastest time.  Caruso then delivered the 8th quickest time in the day's second 45-minute session.

Simona De Silvestro improved by 6-tenths of a second over the two practice sessions to record the 11th fastest time today. The #78 Team Harvey Norman driver made a change to the front end of her Altima, which is already delivering promising potential early in the weekend. The team will further explore the changes in tomorrow morning's final practice.

Andre Heimgartner is still searching for a set-up sweet spot in his Altima, following 90 minutes of practice today. The #7 Plus Fitness Racing driver will aim to utilise some of the progress made by his team-mates to move up the order tomorrow.

Racing gets underway tomorrow with a 15 minute qualifying session determining the grid for the afternoon's 120km event. 

 

 

Garry Jacobson has led home a Nissan 1-2 in this morning's 'additional driver' practice session at the Ipswich SuperSprint today.

Held exclusively for PIRTEK Enduro Cup co-drivers, Jacobson, driving the #15 Castrol Racing Nissan, was fastest in the session with a 1:09.62. The Super2 race-winner was able to deliver his quick lap late in the 30-minute session, before then handing the Altima back to Rick Kelly for the remainder of the day.

Dean Fiore is partnering with Michael Caruso for the 5th successive year in 2018, and the #23 Drive Racing co-driver delivered a 1:09.80 to finish additional driver practice with the second fastest time. A winner in Super2 this year, Fiore was also given the responsibility of completing a number of systems checks on the Altima following the extensive repair work completed after the recent Townsville 400.

Aaren Russell will compete in the 3-event PIRTEK Enduro Cup alongside Andre Heimgartner in the #7 Plus Fitness Racing Nissan in 2018.  Rekindling the duo's 2016 endurance campaign partnership, Russell completing 19 laps today to end the session in 17th.

Alex Rullo is racing with Simona De Silvestro this year. The 18-year-old has been familiarising himself with the Altima in a successful Super2 campaign with MW Motorsport, which included a race win at his home event in Barbagallo. Rullo completed 19 laps in the #78 Team Harvey Norman Nissan and finished the session in 20th.

The Sandown 500 commences on September 14.

 

 

RICK KELLY
#15 CASTROL RACING


"The car’s one-lap performance has been very good all year, so it was impressive of Garry to deliver such a strong lap early in the day - given his limited running on those tyres. It shows that he’s capable of adapting inside the car. It was quite eventful day and we were able to put together a clean lap together at the end. We were surprised and delighted to end up 4th. We’ve got the potential to tune it up further overnight. I’m really looking forward to finding out what sort of car we’re able to bring into qualifying tomorrow."

MICHAEL CARUSO
#23 DRIVE RACING


"I always had every bit of confidence in the team to get the car ready after the big shunt in Townsville. I’ve been here for 7 years, and one thing the team does exceptionally well is getting stuck in when required. The day ran faultlessly, so it’s a credit to everyone that helped out. it’s great to see Dean drive around in my car. The enduros are fast approaching. Dean is doing a terrific job in Super2 and that experience will really pay dividends when Sandown rolls around."

SIMONA DE SILVESTRO
#78 TEAM HARVEY NORMAN


"First practice was a little frustrating with old tyres, but we made a change to the front end for Practice 2 that we’ve been wanting to make for some time now. We were finally gutsy enough to try that change during the second session and it proved competitive. So now we just need to make a few little tweaks here and there. I’m much happier in the car today than I was in Townsville. It’s great to have Alex up here this weekend. When you look at guys like Michael and Dean, they have been together for years, so you need to put in the work to build up a strong relationship with your co-driver. Alex showed good speed in that first session and he’ll only get stronger ahead of the enduros."

ANDRE HEIMGARTNER
#7 PLUS FITNESS RACING


"It was great to get Aaren into the car today. The first endurance event is not far away, so it's good that we're both feeling comfortable. We tried a couple of things and haven't quite hit the sweet spot with set-up just yet. We have another practice session tomorrow morning to make a few tweaks. It's positive to see Michael and Rick show what the cars are capable of. So it's our job tomorrow to deliver on that too."

 

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