HOME OF THE NISSAN MOTORSPORT SUPERCARS TEAM

RICK KELLY WINS IN WINTON

by Michael Teychenne
on 19 May, 2018

Nissan Motorsport has claimed victory in Race 13 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship this afternoon, with Rick Kelly greeting the chequered flag in the #15 Castrol Racing Altima.

Rick Kelly claimed victory at the Winton SuperSprint after completing an impressive overtake on Scott McLaughlin following a late race restart. The Castrol Racing driver started from 4th on the grid and made progress up the order from the first corner. Selective aggressive and impressive tyre conservation ensured Kelly held off a hard-charging pack to take his first win in the Altima.

Michael Caruso has claimed a Top 6 result at the end of 40 laps of racing today. After leading practice earlier in the weekend, the #23 Drive Racing entry converted that speed into a 3rd placed grid position for this afternoon's race. Moving up to 2nd on the opening lap, Caruso pitted early and would unfortunately get jumped by some competitors employing longer opening stints. The big haul of points achieved from the 6th placed result can be further strengthened with a repeat performance in tomorrow's 200km race.

Andre Heimgartner has recorded a solid recovery drive to make up 9 positions across today's race. The #7 Plus Fitness Racing entry lined up 25th on the grid, following a challenging qualifying session. However, an early stop and some aggressive driving from the 22-year-old saw him cross the line in 16th.

Simona De Silvestro made up 5 positions in today's 120km race. The #78 Team Harvey Norman driver started from 23rd on the grid and battled her way up the order after employing a very long opening stint. Strong speed in clean-air was thwarted by late race traffic however. With the Swiss driver's attention moving to optimising tomorrow's 20-minute qualifying session. *A post-race adjudication for contact with competitors has dropped De Silvestro to 22nd.

Sunday at the Winton SuperSprint features a 20-minute qualifying session and 200km race to conclude the event. 

 

DRIVER QUOTES

RICK KELLY - #15 CASTROL RACING

"What a fantastic result for the whole team. We were able to convert the speed we produced in qualifying to maximise the afternoon. But it certainly was a tough race and very tense at the end. We managed to put in good laps early and then make the pass when we needed. This result is for everyone in the team that has worked very hard and will hopefully generate momentum into the next part of the season. Also, this is the suit and the undies that got us on the podium twice at Phillip Island. So now I’m heading straight to the laundry to have them ready for tomorrow. The focus for us is the search for results and that’s what we happily delivered on today."

 

MICHAEL CARUSO - #23 DRIVE RACING

"Fantastic qualifying from my car today. The car has got fantastic one lap speed. The race started really well. We jumped into second and then a couple of laps later, Car #56 came out of the pits and just drove straight in my door - which was a bit disappointing because we had a very fast car in that first part of the race. But unfortunately it went a little bit backwards from there where we got jumped. Fantastic to see Rick get the win, especially in that way with a handful of laps to go. So well done to everyone in the team, two cars running strongly this weekend is nothing but a great result for us all."

 

ANDRE HEIMGARTNER - #7 PLUS FITNESS RACING

"Yeah it was an interesting race today. I was starting second to last and had a lot of places to make up. We managed to do that and finished in 16th. Obviously it is just so hard to pass around here, so hopefully we will qualify better tomorrow"

 

SIMONA DE SILVESTRO#78 - TEAM HARVEY NORMAN

"It was a pretty interesting race. I thought we had really good pace when we had clean air, but then felt like we were in the thick of it every time something was happening. So it was a bit frustrating because we got hit and everything. I don’t think there is one panel straight around the car. So bit of a tough one from that side, so hopefully tomorrow we can do a better job."

 

 

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