HOME OF THE NISSAN MOTORSPORT SUPERCARS TEAM

NISSAN LEAVES IPSWICH WITH PAIR OF TOP 10s

by Michael Teychenne
on 22 July, 2018

Nissan Motorsport has left Queensland Raceway with a pair of Top 10 finishes, following an exciting Ipswich SuperSprint this weekend.

Rick Kelly led home the Nissan squad today, with the #15 Castrol Racing entry finishing in 9th after 200km of racing. Kelly continued his recent qualifying form, backing up yesterday's second row start, by lining up 6th on the grid today. A strong getaway allowed Kelly into 5th position for the early stages of the race, before tyre life began to be an issue. Today's result ensures Kelly move up into 7th in the Championship points standings.

Tyre issues also dogged Michael Caruso this afternoon, as the #23 Drive Racing entry looked set for a Top 10 result early in the race. Caruso had qualified an impressive 9th, but a number of issues meant he was unable to replicate yesterday's 9th placed finish. Crossing the line in 13th, Caruso unfortunately ended his run of 5 consecutive Top 10 finishes (of races finished).

Andre Heimgartner finished where to started today, as the #7 Plus Fitness Racing entry crossed the line in 14th place. Losing a few places early in the race, Heimgartner showed maturity to manage his tyres and move back up the order as the race progressed.

Simona De Silvestro has battled her way to 21st, following 65 laps of hard racing. The #78 Team Harvey Norman driver had started from 17th on the grid, but a difficult opening lap saw De Silvestro drop down to 23rd place. The former Indycar driver will now utilise her night racing experience for the next event in the Championship at Sydney Motorsport Park.

The next round of the 2018 Supercars Championship will be the innovative Sydney SuperNight 300 - a single 300km race event held under lights. Stay tuned for some exciting announcements leading up to the event.

 

RICK KELLY
#15 CASTROL RACING

"We moved from 8th to 7th in Championship, so lots of positives from the weekend. With excellent qualifying pace and challenging race pace, we’re constantly walking away from weekends slightly disappointed. I believe that where we finished was the absolute best we could have achieved today. We played a good strategy to finish inside the Top 10 but didn’t quite have the race pace. We’re learning and we’ll keep trying things until we can stay with those guys ahead.

"Sydney is going to be one heck of a challenging race. 300km is the longest we’ll ever do as a single driver - it’s 50km longer than Adelaide. As I understand it, there’s no measured fuel drop, so there’s going to be a big battle with economy as well. We’ve had good single-lap speed there recently, but we’ll need to keep working on our race pace considering it is such a long event."

MICHAEL CARUSO
#23 DRIVE RACING

"It was a tough race for us. The car felt pretty loose in the rear, which is very unusual for our race car. We’ll check it over and see if there was an issue that was to blame. It’s disappointing because the car was very good in the race, so I was hoping to go the other way.

"Sydney is going to be a fun event. It’s the very first time I’ll drive a Supercar at night. It’s a great opportunity to grab a whole bunch of points."

ANDRE HEIMGARTNER
#7 PLUS FITNESS RACING

"We finished where we started today. We lacked a bit of speed in the middle of the race, which saw us get caught up in a couple of battles. You always want to be further up, but at least we didn’t go backwards.

"Sydney is up next and that will be a bit of a crazy race. It’s a fun track to race on and racing at night adds a new layer to it. I think it will mix things up and should produce a very entertaining race."

SIMONA DE SILVESTRO
#78 TEAM HARVEY NORMAN

"I got hit by everybody at the start. I was run off the road a couple of times and that saw us lose a whole bunch of places. We didn't have the greatest start, but it was really frustrating to be hit left and right. We had some issues with our brakes and had a couple of lock ups as a result. So overall, it was a difficult afternoon. I'm excited to move onto the next one.

"I've raced ovals under lights, but I'm not sure that'll be too much help when we head to Sydney. I know the track pretty well and it's going to be a really long race. It'll be something different. We're showing pretty good form, we just need to finish better."
 


 

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