Jack Daniel's Racing Set For Sandown Enduro
Following a pair of promising rounds and a successful test day, the Jack Daniel's Racing Nissan Altimas are set for the first two-driver endurance race of the season, the Sandown 500.
Teaming up with Todd Kelly aboard the number 7 machine is Nissan factory driver Alex Buncombe, who will be making his V8 Supercars debut at the event.
The Brit tested with Jack Daniel's Racing at the season opening Sydney Motorsport Park test day, with the event following on from his debut in the Bathurst 12 Hour, where he partnered Rick Kelly in a Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3.
No stranger to endurance racing, Buncombe utilised the varied conditions at the recent Winton Raceway test day to familiarise himself further with the V8 Supercar Altima.
Rick Kelly meanwhile will team up with experienced co-driver David Russell, who is lining up for his fourth successive endurance race tilt with Jack Daniel's Racing.
Like Buncombe, Russell has extensive recent experience in GT3 competition, both domestically and internationally.
Both of the Kelly brothers have form on the board at Sandown, with Todd winning the 2003 Sandown 500 alongside Mark Skaife, while Rick was victorious in 2011 for Jack Daniel's Racing, when he blitzed the field in the wet, winning from pole position.
On track action kicks off on Friday the 12th of September with three practice sessions, followed by a final practice, a 20 minute qualifying session and two 20 lap qualifying races on Saturday, ahead of Sunday's 500km long race.
JACK DANIEL'S RACING QUOTEBOARD
TODD KELLY - #7 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima
"It's shaping up really well," said Todd Kelly.
"There are a lot of positives in having Alex on board, it's a fresh approach to teaming up with someone who hasn't had a lot of miles in our cars.
"He's a perfect size as far as seat fit is concerned, we haven't really had to modify anything, the driver changes are good, and all of those things are shaping up well.
"Following our test day at Winton, where he had a little bit of dry and a little bit of wet running, practice starts and pit stops, all of the things he needs to know, he had a good run at.
"He got to the point where he was pretty comfortable in the car.
"I'm looking forward to Sandown, it's a good home event, it's close to home and close to the race shop.
"Hopefully we can have a good clean weekend, the cars should be pretty good around that place, over the curbs and over the different sections of track, whether it's wet or dry.
"We're looking forward to it."
ALEX BUNCOMBE - #7 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima
"It's a fantastic opportunity for me, thanks to Nissan and everyone involved who has been able to make this possible," said Alex Buncombe.
"I can't wait to get to Sandown for race weekend.
"It's been good to get a test in at Winton, and get a bit of experience in the car.
"We had both dry and wet weather running, and with a reasonable chance of getting those conditions at Sandown, it's good to have experienced the car in various situations."
RICK KELLY - #15 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima
"It's great to have Dave in the car, it's really good consistency for us," said Rick Kelly.
"He has been with Jack Daniel's Racing now for a number of years, which is great.
"He's an absolute pleasure to work with, and very handy in the car as well.
"It's an exciting time of year, I'm a big fan of the endurance season, our Championship really is quite diverse.
"We're heading into three very different rounds now, in particular the Sandown event is an exciting one.
"500km these days goes pretty quick, so you need to be on your toes to get a result."
DAVID RUSSELL - #15 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima
"I can't wait to be honest," said David Russell.
"We had a great test at Winton, and I feel really comfortable in the car.
"Because I'm not a full time driver in this particular car, it's really important for me to get a good feel for the car, a good feel for the brakes, the handling and any changes that have been made in the past year.
"For me, I'm really confident heading in, and I can't wait to get on track and get amongst it."
EVENT 10 WILSON SECURITY SANDOWN 500
Circuit: Sandown Raceway
Circuit Location: Springvale, VIC
Circuit Length: 3.1km
Qualifying Format: One 20 minute qualifying session
Race Format: Two 20 lap qualifying races, One 161 lap race (500km)
Times are in Australian Eastern Standard Time (UTC + 10 hours)
Friday 12th September 2014
10:45am - 11:25am: Practice Part 1
12:40pm - 1:20pm: Practice Part 2 (co-drivers only)
2:35pm - 3:15pm: Practice Part 3 (co-drivers only)
Saturday 13th September 2014
10:05am - 10:45am: Practice Part 4
12:20pm - 12:40pm: Qualifying
2:45pm - 3:19pm: Qualifying Race 1 (20 laps)
4:40pm - 5:14pm: Qualifying Race 2 (20 laps)
Sunday 14th September 2014
10:25am - 10:45am: Warm Up
1:40pm - 5:11pm: Race 29 (161 laps)
(Provisional after 28 races)
1. Jamie Whincup - 2025 points
2. Mark Winterbottom- 1890
3. Craig Lowndes- 1812
4. Shane Van Gisbergen- 1778
5. Fabian Coulthard- 1712
6. James Courtney- 1688
7. Chaz Mostert- 1502
8. Scott McLaughlin- 1497
9. Garth Tander- 1404
10. Jason Bright- 1329
16. Rick Kelly- 1136
24. Todd Kelly- 749
FOLLOW JACK DANIEL'S RACING
Rick Kelly on Twitter: @RickKelly
Rick Kelly on Facebook: Facebook.com/rickkelly15
Rick Kelly on Instagram: rickkelly15
Todd Kelly on Twitter: @toddkellyracing
Todd Kelly on Facebook: Facebook.com/toddkellyracing
Todd Kelly on Instagram: toddkellyracing
2014 V8 SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
Date, Event, Location
Feb 15, sydney.com V8 Supercars Test Day, Sydney Motorsport Park
Feb 27-Mar 2, Clipsal 500 Adelaide, Adelaide Street Circuit
Mar 13-16, 2014 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park
Mar 28-30, Tasmania 400, Symmons Plains Raceway
Apr 4-6 Winton 400, Winton Motor Raceway
April 25-27, ITM 500 Auckland, Pukekohe Park Raceway
May 16-18, Perth 400, Barbagallo Raceway
June 20-22, SKYCITY Triple Crown Darwin 400, Hidden Valley Raceway
July 4-6, Townsville 500, Reid Park
Aug 1-3, Coates Hire Ipswich 400, Queensland Raceway
Aug 22-24, Sydney Motorsport Park 400, Sydney Motorsport Park
Sept 12-14, Wilson Security Sandown 500, Sandown Raceway
Oct 9-12, Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, Mount Panorama
Oct 24-26, ARMOR ALL Gold Coast 600, Surfers Paradise
Nov 14-16, Phillip Island 400, Phillip Island Circuit
Dec 5-7, Sydney 500, Sydney Olympic Park