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Apr 13, 2014 - 06:17 AM
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Jack Daniel's Racing V8 Supercar Takes On NASCAR
Posted by: newsla on Apr 13, 2014 - 06:16 AM
Sports Cars
Jack Daniel's Racing V8 Supercar Takes On NASCAR


Jack Daniel's Racing driver Rick Kelly has put his Nissan Altima through its paces on the Calder Park Thunderdome, in the process becoming the first V8 Supercar to sample a high banked NASCAR spec oval.

 

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Although the demonstration run was not officially timed, Kelly lapped the facility at an average speed of close to 200km/h, considerably faster than quickest track on the calendar, Mount Panorama Bathurst, which has an average speed of 175km/h.

The trial on the 24 degree banked 1.8km long oval showed that with some tuning, V8 Supercars could one day be adapted to run on layouts outside of traditional road or street courses.

"I've always had a little bit of a dream of doing this, probably not in a V8 Supercar, but in a NASCAR, and I can tell you, in the V8 Supercar it's a lot of fun," said Rick Kelly.

"We only did a handful of laps not at fantastic speed, but it was enough to get a feel of what an oval is like, and the amount of banking here at Calder Park is really quite impressive.

"The grip mid-corner is unbelievable with that banking, I never got close to the limit, but I'd imagine if you overstepped it, you would be up into the wall pretty quickly."

The laps will spark the debate regarding the merits of racing on USA styled ovals, as the V8 Supercar Championship looks to broaden its calendar in upcoming seasons.

"A race around the Thunderdome would be incredible, we've just come off the back of the Winton round, so the setup in the car is basically how we finished, so you would obviously want to play with it and stop it from bottoming out the whole way around the track," said Kelly.

"It would be a lot of fun, it's very different for us V8 Supercar drivers, we've never really experienced anything like this, let alone in a V8 Supercar.

"The sound of the Nissan Altima around the banking, echoing through the facility was incredible.

"It would take a bit of tuning for sure to get the V8 Supercar to handle to its capability around here, but Calder hasn't been used in many years, there are weeds growing up through the grandstand, and the track is very, very bumpy.

"But it's still a whole lot of fun and a fantastic experience."

For Kelly, the experience partially fulfilled an ambition to race on ovals, an avenue he explored in the past.

"I've always wanted to experience a NASCAR in America, I went over in 2007 to scope out any opportunities, and it was such a huge step, I decided to stick with V8 Supercars," said Kelly.

"It certainly gives you a taste of what it's like, and it's something I would like to have a crack at one day."

The V8 Supercar Championship continues at Pukekohe Park Raceway with the ITM 500 Auckland from April 25-27.

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