Mega Comeback Drive by Rick Kelly in Clipsal 500
Rick Kelly has made an incredible recovery in the third and final race of the Clipsal 500 Adelaide, with the Jack Daniel's Racing Nissan Altima driver coming back from 16th to claim a fifth place result.
The race started in dramatic fashion for Rick, with contact with the tyre bundle at the very first corner causing body damage and a slight tyre rub.
Before the issue was rectified during his opening service, Rick took the race lead through the first round of pit stops.
Rick's race however unravelled on a safety car restart, with officials adjudging him to have miscalculated the new acceleration zone procedure, resulting in a pit lane drive through penalty.
The problem was compounded with an additional penalty for speeding in pit lane.
Languishing down the running order, a combination of strategy, a strong final pit stop and a smart safety car restart saw Rick charge through the field, locking down fifth position with four laps remaining.
A promising showing from Todd Kelly however was curtailed when he suffered a broken throttle pedal on only lap two, with repairs unable to be made in time to make it back onto the track.
Following the results of the weekend, Rick sits fifth in the point score, while Todd is placed 20th.
The next outing for the Jack Daniel's Racing Nissan Altimas will be at the Australian Grand Prix from March 13-16.
JACK DANIEL'S RACING QUOTEBOARD
RICK KELLY - #15 Jack Daniel's Racing Nissan Altima:
Race 3- 5th
"What an amazing race!" Said Rick Kelly.
"There was so much going on out there, I must admit I was extremely surprised by a few things out there.
"First of all, I got squeezed at the very first corner with Garth Tander, he ran me into the tyre bundle, it damaged my steering and damaged the car, so in the pitstop it took an additional 20 seconds to change the wheel. But that's racing.
"The next incident was that restart, we got a drive through penalty, and it was a complete surprise to me!
"I still don't know what we did wrong; for me a safety car is put out for safety reasons, so at the end of it you just want to resume racing in a fair manner.
"It's absolutely been a lottery with every restart we have done under this new format. I'm disappointed by that.
"Then I had another drive through penalty for speeding in pit lane, but I obviously have to put my hand up for that one, if that has happened then it is absolutely completely my fault.
"So after those two penalties, we were right back, and we had to race really hard, we lost a lap, I managed to get it back, a safety car came at the right time for us, we pitted for new tyres, and I was able to fight back to fifth.
"It's probably the most eventful race I can remember having, so I'm really excited about that, we've got good points to take away, and we flexed a bit of muscle from Jack Daniel's Racing's point of view to say that we are back."
TODD KELLY - #7 Jack Daniel's Racing Nissan Altima:
Race 3- DNF
"That's pretty hard to take," Todd Kelly said.
"At the start of the season, to come out of such a big points race with no points on Sunday in Adelaide is not really the way to kick off the season.
"It was tough yesterday too. We had really good pace, and we had a failure with the steering which put me from seventh back to 16th, but we were actually lucky to finish at all.
"So it's a pretty rough start, but the cars were quite pacey, it's just a shame we didn't get a chance to stay out there and see what we could do with them.
"The positive is that it has only broken a throttle pedal, that we couldn't repair in time to get back out, other than that the car is perfectly straight.
"It's not a huge turn around to get to the next round, and hopefully we can show what the car's true potential is at the Grand Prix."
1. James Courtney
2. Craig Lowndes
3. Shane Van Gisbergen
4. Fabian Coulthard
5. Rick Kelly
6. Tim Slade
7. David Reynolds
8. David Wall
9. James Moffat
10. Dale Wood
DNF. Todd Kelly
(After 3 of 38 races)
1. Craig Lowndes - 282
2. Fabian Coulthard - 230
3. Shane Van Gisbergen - 221
4. Jamie Whincup - 199
5. Rick Kelly - 198
6. James Courtney - 192
7. Mark Winterbottom - 189
8. Tim Slade - 163
9. Garth Tander - 150
10. James Moffat 140
20. Todd Kelly - 70
AUS TELEVISION REPLAYS - SPEED (FOXTEL & AUSTAR)
Times in AEDT and subject to amendment - please check local guides
Sunday 2 March 2014: 7:30pm (Race 3)
Monday 3 March 2014: 4:00am (Race 3)
Tuesday 4 March 2014: 7:30pm (Races 1, 2 & 3)
Wednesday 5 March 2014: 5:30am (Races 1, 2 & 3)