HOME OF THE NISSAN MOTORSPORT SUPERCARS TEAM

NISSAN COMPLETE QUALIFYING FOR BATHURST 1000

by Michael Teychenne
on 05 October, 2018

The grid has been set for Nissan Motorsport following today’s qualifying at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.

Rain clouds parted just moments before this afternoon’s qualifying session, ensuring the battle for provisional pole would be the first dry running of the weekend.

Andre Heimgartner will lead the Nissan squad away in the 58th edition of the Bathurst 1000 on Sunday. The #7 Castrol / Plus Fitness Racing entry will start the Great Race from 13th on the grid. Tomorrow’s final practice session will provide Heimgartner, and co-driver Aaren Russell, further opportunities to refine the dry weather set-up on the Altima.

Rick Kelly showed strong pace on a wet track today, as the #11 Castrol Racing driver finished with the second fastest time in the morning’s fifth practice session. After tackling the dry track during qualifying, Kelly, along with co-driver Garry Jacobson, will line up 14th on the grid for Sunday's 161-lap event.

Michael Caruso danced his way around the Mount Panorama circuit during the morning’s wet practice. The #23 Industrial Athlete entry was quickest in the treacherous conditions, however, a niggling technical issue re-appeared prior to the afternoon’s qualifying session. Caruso and Fiore will line up 16th on the grid, with the team utilising tomorrow's running to resolve the issue with #23.

Simona De Silvestro will start from 26th on the grid for Sunday’s Bathurst 1000 after today’s 40-minute qualifying session. While the #78 Team Harvey Norman entry battled set-up during the dry, the team are confident that we can resolve the issue in tomorrow’s Practice 6.  De Silvestro will race alongside Alex Rullo in what will be the Swiss driver’s fourth campaign at the mountain.

The Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 will start on Sunday at 11:10am

 

#7 CASTROL / PLUS FITNESS RACING

ANDRE HEIMGARTNER
"While it's pretty disappointing to not be in the shootout tomorrow, at least we have more time to prepare our race pace tomorrow now. Both Aaren and I are really comfortable in the car, so that's a big positive for Sunday."

AAREN RUSSELL
"It was a good effort for Andre to finish just outside the Top 10. Our attention now turns to Sunday and making sure we have a car that both of us are comfortable with. Luckily, we have very similair styles, so we'll tune it a bit more in practice tomorrow and then we're good to go."
 
#11 CASTROL RACING

RICK KELLY
"Everyone will have their own stories after qualifying, because it was the first opportunity for dry running. The car itself is not too bad. We went 4th after the first run, but then everyone went quicker and quicker. We just weren't able to go with them. It's risky to make big changes and we decided to stick with a car that gave us confidence, but unfortunately that didn't give us the platform to develop through the session. It's a long race and I know there's a bit more to find in tomorrow's final practice."

GARRY JACOBSON
"As far as looks are concerned, I think we're the best thing out there. We leave today with a straight car and I'm feeling quite optimistic, to be honest. To get pole in Super2 was confidence building for me. For a 6 hour race on Sunday, don't worry, we'll get 'em."
 
#23 INDUSTRIAL ATHLETE

MICHAEL CARUSO
"I am a bit disappointed to be missing out on the shootout. The whole team works amazingly hard and they wanted to be fighting for pole just as much as me. The car felt pretty good. Handling-wise, I can't fault it. The car is really strong across the top of the mountain. We're just dealing with a technical issue which is hampering us down the straights. We have tomorrow's practice to get it all sorted before Sunday's race."

DEAN FIORE
"The car was quite good by the end of the session. Michael drove really well in quali, with the results probably not telling the whole story. We need to look at things tomorrow and understand what sort of Sunday we're in for."

#78 TEAM HARVEY NORMAN

SIMONA DE SILVESTRO
"Qualifying was the first opportunity to run in the dry, which was a bit of a challenge for everyone. We didn't have our set-up quite right for the conditions and couldn't get the most out of our car. We'll look over everything tonight to try and find what we need for the race."

ALEX RULLO
"It's a long race on Sunday and we'll hopefully play it smart with strategy to move forward. We've got plenty of time to make our way up to the front, so that's what we plan on doing."

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