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Jack Daniel's Racing Primed for Pukekohe
Jack Daniel's Racing is ready to take on New Zealand, with Rick and Todd Kelly primed to unleash their Nissan Altimas on Pukekohe Park Raceway, and improve on their strong showing from 12 months ago.
The meeting will mark the second outing at the revamped facility for the V8 Supercar Championship, a venue where both drivers have climbed onto the top step of the podium previously, with Todd successful in 2002, while Rick was victorious in 2007.
The duo also has recent form on the board in New Zealand for Jack Daniel's Racing, when they finished first and third in the opening race of the 2011 event on the streets of Hamilton.
The weekend is scheduled to feature a unique format, which will see a total of 500km of racing over three days, made up by a 100km race on Friday, a pair of 100km races on Saturday, and a final 200km encounter on Sunday.
JACK DANIEL'S RACING QUOTEBOARD
RICK KELLY - #15 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima
"It's quite a challenging track, I'm a little bit frustrated still from Winton, so I can't wait to get back in the car and get it back up to the front," said Rick Kelly.
"Last year when we went to New Zealand we weren't too bad, and we were still trying to learn the new car, and this year our expectations are a little higher than they were this time last year.
"The track itself is a very exciting one, it really does provide absolutely everything; it has one of the slowest corners of the season, it has a couple of fast sweeping corners, like turn one and the last pair.
"Obviously there are a couple of new corners in the complex over the back of the circuit, which has a new and really high grip surface.
"From a setup point of view it's very difficult to get a car setup that favours all of those different elements, which is a really good challenge.
"Last year was the first time back there since 2007, and it provided a lot of very exciting racing.
"I'm just looking forward to it, we've visited Winton which is a challenging track inside the car with the tyres going off, and now we're off to a track that is a bit more exciting, and the only one we do in New Zealand as well."
TODD KELLY - #7 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima
"Racing at Pukekohe is always something you look forward to at the start of the year, the fans in New Zealand always embrace V8 Supercars, it's a big event on the calendar," said Todd Kelly.
"From a driver's perspective, the track packs in a lot of really interesting corners into quite a short lap. The run onto the pit straight is fairly wild, while the new chicane on the back straight adds another overtaking opportunity and another challenge when setting the car up.
"With the limited practice running, we'll have to unload the car and be right on the money, you won't have time to try a lot of different setups before qualifying and racing.
"As a team last year we had top-ten speed, so with a season of development under our belts, I'm confident we'll be in a strong position."
EVENT 4- ITM 500 AUCKLAND
Circuit: Pukekohe Park Raceway
Circuit Location: Pukekohe, New Zealand
Circuit Length: 2.91km
Qualifying Format: Two 20 minute, two 10 minute qualifying sessions
Race Format: Three 35 lap races (100km), One 70 lap race (200km)
Times are in New Zealand Standard Time
Friday 25th April 2014
11:30am 12:00pm: Practice 1
12:15pm 12:35pm: Qualifying Race 10
1:37pm 2:20pm: Race 10 (35 laps)
Saturday 26th April 2014
10:25am 10:55am: Practice 2
11:30am 11:40am: Qualifying Race 11
11:50am 12:00pm: Qualifying Race 12
2:05pm 2:50pm: Race 11 (35 laps)
4:05pm 4:50pm: Race 12 (35 laps)
Sunday 27th April 2014
1:00pm 1:20pm: Qualifying Race 13
3:10pm 4:49pm: Race 13 (70 laps)
AUS TELEVISION SCHEDULE SEVEN NETWORK/7mate/7two
Friday April 25th 2014
Sydney- 10:00am 12:30pm V8 Supercars (7mate)
Melbourne- 10:00am 12:30pm V8 Supercars (7mate)
Brisbane- 10:00am 12:30pm V8 Supercars (7mate)
Adelaide- 9:30am 12:00pm V8 Supercars (7mate)
Perth- 8:00am 10:30am V8 Supercars (7mate)
Saturday April 26th 2014
Sydney 10:30am 11:00am V8 Xtra (7mate), 11:00am 1:00pm V8 Supercars (Seven), 1:00pm 2:00pm V8 Supercars (7two)
Melbourne- 10:30am 11:00am V8 Xtra (7mate), 11:00am 2:00pm V8 Supercars (7mate)
Brisbane- 10:30am 11:00am V8 Xtra (7mate), 11:00am 2:00pm V8 Supercars (7mate)
Adelaide- 10:00am 10:30am V8 Xtra (7mate), 10:30am 1:30pm V8 Supercars (7mate)
Perth- 8:30am 9:00am V8 Xtra (7mate), 9:00am 12:00pm V8 Supercars (7mate)
Sunday April 27th 2014
Sydney 12:00pm 12:30pm V8 Supercars (7mate), 12:30pm 3:00pm V8 Supercars (Seven)
Melbourne- 12:00pm 3:00pm V8 Supercars (7mate)
Brisbane- 12:00pm 12:30pm V8 Supercars (7mate), 12:30pm 3:00pm V8 Supercars (Seven)
Adelaide- 11:30pm 2:30pm V8 Supercars (7mate)
Perth- 10:00pm 1:00pm V8 Supercars (7mate)
(Provisional after 9 of 38 races)
1. Craig Lowndes- 701 points
2. Mark Winterbottom- 673
3. Fabian Coulthard- 658
4. James Courtney- 609
5. Jamie Whincup- 606
6. Shane Van Gisbergen- 549
7. Tim Slade-473
8. David Reynolds- 453
9. Lee Holdsworth- 440
10. Scott McLaughlin- 406
18. Rick Kelly- 369
23. Todd Kelly- 256