Rick Kelly says the pressure is on to stay up-front in his Jack Daniel’s Nissan Altima after showing strong early pace at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide.
Kelly set third fastest time in today’s second practice session behind Supercheap Auto’s Tim Slade and session one fast-man Shane van Gisbergen in the VIP Petfoods Holden Commodore.
Promisingly for the sophomore Nissan crew, Rick’s brother Todd was eighth fastest in the 30 minute session.
“Looking at that (the time sheets) it puts the pressure on us. We have to do a good job," Kelly said.
“It looks like we have a good opportunity and that (engineer) Erik Pender and myself have to put our heads down and drive the car properly and set it up properly.”
Kelly admitted his surprise at being close to the front and was confident there was more speed to be found.
“We still don’t know where everyone is at, what tyres everyone is on, so we are just worrying about our own game at the moment.
“You look at the lap times and it looks really promising, but the car itself on the circuit and the grip doesn’t feel great, so we have a lot of places to improve.
“It’s just trying to find that balance around this place; you have fast corners and slow corners and change of direction, so we are happy and just working through it.”
The Altimas are running a revised aerodynamic set-up in search of improved high-speed acceleration, but Kelly has yet to run with rival cars to find out if there is an improvement. However the team felt there would be a gain after the sydney.com V8 Supercars Test Day a fortnight ago.
“We stay well clear of everyone at this stage of the weekend and its doesn’t feel any different.”