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Sep 15, 2012 - 03:14 PM
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Jack Daniel's Racing DC Smith Sandown 500 Day 2
Posted by: newsla on Sep 15, 2012 - 03:08 PM
Sports Cars
Jack Daniel's Racing DC Smith Sandown 500 Day 2

It was a positive start for Jack Daniel's Racing in session 4 at Sandown this morning.

Rick Kelly started the session in car #15 while Tim Blanchard commenced the driving duties in the #7 car in a move to give him more seat time.


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After 6 minutes Rick was 2nd fastest, still running on old tyres, but the session was red-flagged when Paul Dumbrell spun at turn 4 and lightly tapped the fence. Despite this setback, they bounced back to end the session 2nd fastest.

When the session recommenced, Dave Russell replaced Rick behind the wheel of the #15 car to also get more seat time while Blanchard remained in the driver’s seat of #7.

Dave continued to shadow Rick’s lap times while still running on old tyres as Tim also punched out solid lap times.

Both Rick and Todd set their fastest times of the weekend to date on old tyres before switching to their first set of ‘green’ tyres. Most drivers also fitted new tyres for their last run in the session. Rick finished 17th and Todd 20th with the entire 28 car field separated by just 1.6 seconds.

Top 10
1 Winterbottom/Richards
2 Whincup/Dumbrell
3 Davison/McIntyre
4 Lowndes/Luff
5 Reynolds/Canto
6 Holdsworth/Baird
7 Moffat/Davison
8 Tander/Percat
9 Slade/Thompson
10 Bright/Jones
17 Kelly/Russell
20 Kelly/Blanchard


Jack Daniel's Racing driver Rick Kelly has qualified 12th for this afternoon’s 1st qualifying race, a unique format for the season’s opening endurance race.

Rick remained in the top 10 through most of the 20-minute qualifying session only to be bumped to 12th spot with just seconds remaining. His time of 1min 9.749sec was his quickest of the weekend and was just .38 off pole position, which was won by Will Davison.

Todd Kelly had a big lock up early in the session going into turn 1, and spectacularly two-wheeled his way through the corner.
He bounced back to also record his best time of the weekend, a 1min 10.143sec to finish 24th fastest, but only .7 sec off pole position. The competition certainly intensified in this final pre-race shootout with the field covered by 1.3 seconds.

Top 10
1 Will Davison
2 Garth Tander
3 Shane van Gisbergen
4 Craig Lowndes
5 David Reynolds
6 Nark Winterbottom
7 Steve Owen
8 Fabian Coulthard
9 Jonathan Webb
10 Jamie Whincup
11 Rick Kelly
24 Todd Kelly


The first of two 20-lap qualifying races was for the co-drivers, with Dave Russell starting 12th in the #15 car and Tim Blanchard 24th in car #7.

Although it was a race for co-drivers the field included two former Bathurst winners, Steve Richards and Nick Percat and even a former F1 driver, Christian Klien.

With 50 points on offer to the winner (and more importantly, the car’s regular driver) plus a second qualifying race to be run later in the day, keeping out of trouble was a priority.

However turn 1 of lap 1 was where Paul Morris locked up on the dirty side of the track and slid into the David Besnard who then hit Steven Richards, spinning the latter off the track. As a result, Paul Morris got a drive through penalty dropping him to the rear of the field.

Jack Daniel's Racing driver’s Dave Russell and Tim Blanchard missed getting caught up in the Turn 1, with Blanchard leaping 7 spots on the opening lap. Russell dropped one spot but quickly regained it. After an entertaining nine car race-long battle, Luke Youlden was victorious.

After solid drives 20 laps Russell finished 12th and Blanchard 17th.

Top 10
1 Luke Youlden
2 Paul Dumbrell
3 Dean Canto
4 John McIntyre
5 Warren Luff
6 Nick Percat
7 Scott McLaughlin
8 Andrew Thompson
9 Greg Ritter
10 Alex Davison
12 Dave Russell
17 Tim Blanchard


Race 1 proved to be tame compared to the antics of the main game drivers in their 20-lap qualifying race. There was action aplenty, several damaged cars and all four title contenders encountering a difficult day, with three running off the road and one starting from the rear of the grid.

However it was a very positive day for Jack Daniel's Racing’s Rick Kelly who finished the race sixth. After a superb start and jumping three places on lap 1, Rick was in a fierce battle with James Moffat, Jonathan Webb and James Courtney with lots of bumping and rubbing. The safety car was deployed as Taz Douglas spun in turn 12 and after two laps under caution, racing resumed on lap 9.

The aggression continued and Rick was in a four-car battle until he outbraked Moffat, Webb and Holdsworth with brilliant move into turn 1. From there he broke free of that pack and latched onto the back of Michael Caruso who just pipped him for 5th place. However with Tim Slade receiving a five grid spot penalty Kelly and co-driver Dave Russell will start 5th for tomorrow’s 500km race.

Todd was also in a fierce race-long battle with a group of drivers including Johnson, Holdsworth, D’Alberto, Ingall, Winterbottom and Fiore. Although he drove a strong race he couldn’t break free of the group and eventually finished 17th, his original starting spot on the grid.

Dave Russell – “Today’s race was good and I’ve been able to give the car back to Ricko without any marks on it or getting run into. Our pace in the race was pretty good and that gives me confidence for tomorrow”.

Tim Blanchard – “Today was pretty good and our aim was to stay out of trouble and bring the car home without any scratches on it. We moved forward to 17th and our pace was a good improvement over qualifying”.

Rick Kelly – “I’m really happy with the car and we are so strong
around most of the track, so we will hone in on those and fix them up for tomorrow. We will be starting from 5th and I’m really stoked as the guys have given me a strong car. The co-drivers race was really well driven and they did such a good job but I don’t know what was going on with all the main game drivers. There was stuff happening everywhere”.

Todd Kelly – “The car was better than the result showed. We got a really good start and then ended up in the wrong spot in the first few corners and got shuffled back and caught up in other people’s dramas. The car’s not too bad, we just need to have a clean run tomorrow and we will be okay”.

Top 10
1 Shane van Gisbergen
2 David Reynolds
3 Garth Tander
4 Tim Slade
5 Michael Caruso
6 Rick Kelly
7 Craig Lowndes
8 James Courtney
9 Jonathan Webb
10 Jason Bright
17 Todd Kelly

Championship Points
1 Jamie Whincup 2300
2 Mark Winterbottom 2256
3 Will Davison 2164
4 Craig Lowndes 2153
5 Shane van Gisbergen 1734
6 Garth Tander 1604
7 Tim Slade 1534
8 Fabian Coulthard 1461
9 Lee Holdsworth 1329
10 David Reynolds 1268
15 Todd Kelly 1118
16 Rick Kelly 1114

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