Kellys See New Challenges in Enduros

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 06/09/2013
  • By Jack Daniel's Racing

The 2013 V8 Supercars season of endurance will provide a new set of challenges for teams, but also plenty of opportunities.

According to Jack Daniel's Racing driver Rick Kelly, the longer dual-driver races have the ability to make or break a season, especially in 2013 as the Championship battle continues to tighten.

With 300 points on offer at each event there is plenty to lose, but just as much to gain, and a good or bad weekend could see a driver jump up, or slide down the series standings considerably.

"Endurance season this year is obviously three events and that presents a lot of opportunities," Kelly said. "Over the last couple of rounds we've really seen the Championship tighten up, particularly up the front, and while we're not in the Championship hunt itself, we want to get a couple of cars in the top 10.

"The next three races are very high up on our priority list as far as that goes because all your points are dedicated towards one race, whereas the formats we've had previously the points are split up between three races.

"If you have a DNF in one race your weekend is not completely over, whereas in endurance races it's a very different story and if you have a tough Sunday, you're in a fair bit of pain as far as your Championship is concerned.

"It presents a couple of challenges for us, but also a great opportunity to out-strategise others where possible and think on our feet throughout the race, and hopefully stay out of trouble and get a few solid results.

"It comes at a good time for us, we've gone through a couple of different formats this year with the 60/60 and double file restarts, your fuel races like Clipsal and Townsville, and now we head into the longer ones, so I'm looking forward to it."

Kelly will be joined by Karl Reindler at the Wilson Security Sandown 500 next weekend and for all three endurance races. West Australian Reindler drove for the then Kelly Racing team last season and has picked up where he left off, making the transition into two-driver races much easier.

"I feel as prepared as ever," Reindler said. "We had a ride day on Monday, which was the final opportunity to really get comfortable inside the car, we've sorted through everything, we fit in the car well and it's all coming together.

"Obviously the results for Nissan Motorsport at Winton were fantastic and I think it's given us that extra bit of motivation to push that bit harder and we're all really excited about the event."

Teammate Todd Kelly will partner with David Russell in the #7 Jack Daniel's Racing Nissan Altima and the two drivers are looking forward to working together. Russell drove with Rick during the 2012 endurance races and is excited about continuing his relationship with the team.

"I'm really looking forward to getting into enduro mode, Dave Russell is a really solid teammate and a great competitor and he's had a lot of experience in a wide range of cars this year and has had some great results, so it will be good to have him on board," Todd said.

"He did a really good job in testing a few weeks back, so I can't wait to get to Sandown and see what our cars can do around that place, especially off the back of our most successful race of the year, and most successful race for Nissan, at Winton.

"We always knew that Winton was going to be good for us and Sandown may be tough, so it will be good to see exactly where we sit when we get there."

Russell is looking forward to getting on with the racing. 

"I can't wait for Sandown to be honest, for me it's been a long build up to the endurance cup. For us we've had a couple of test days and then obviously some co-driver sessions at the race meetings, so it's important to get those miles, but now it's on to the racing," Russell said.

"The car has been very good in testing and obviously after a great result at Winton we know that the cars are capable of doing a good job, so I'm really looking forward to it."

The 2013 V8 Supercars PIRTEK Enduro Cup will kick off on Friday September 13 at Sandown International Raceway in Victoria, where drivers will compete in the traditional pre-Bathurst 500km race.

After nine events Rick is 14th in the series standings after a tough last event, while Todd remains 25th. Both brothers have never failed to finish a Sandown 500 race. Todd won in 2003 and was runner-up in 2005 and 2006, while Rick is yet to stand on the top step, though was runner-up in '06 (he and Todd drove together) and '07. 

The Jack Daniel's Racing Nissan Altima's will take to Sandown International Raceway on Friday for practice, before qualifying on Saturday and racing on Sunday.

Tickets are available for the Wilson Security Sandown 500 through Ticketek. There is an Enduro Pass ticketing option, granting access to all three events at 30 percent off; or for those following at home, the V8 SuperView Enduro Pass for $14.95 offering live and uninterrupted streaming of the three events. Alternatively, see the Channel Seven TV Schedule here.

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