05 MAY 2019
Eventful day for Kelly Racing in Perth
Kelly Racing had an eventful day at Perth's Barbagallo Raceway today with good pace through practice, qualifying and this evening's race under lights, however a couple of collisions on track hampered our final results.
All four cars showed reasonable speed during Practice Three and André Heimgartner was our lead driver finishing in eleventh spot. The team felt André may have been held up by another team's car on his final flying lap of the session so Supercars investigated the matter and found that indeed he was. This gave André P10 and put him automatically into Qualifying Part Two.
In Qualifying One Rick Kelly put the Castrol Racing Nissan in P1 to put him safely into Q2. Simona De Silvestro narrowly missed out coming in sixth which ultimately placed her in sixteenth for the race. Garry Jacobson had a big off at the final turn on his last flyer of the session but kept the car out of trouble and qualified in spot twenty-three.
In Qualifying Part Two, Rick and André hit the track to try and secure a top ten spot and progress to Q3. Rick struggled with the car and managed to put the Castrol car in thirteenth for the race. André came in eighth and progressed to Q3 to fight for a top-ten spot in the Plus Fitness Racing entry.
André had a lock-up at turn one towards the end of the session and had to abort the lap but the Kiwi kept his composure and made it back around for another lap before time was up without taking too much out of his tyres. He then set a personal best lap time for the day and put his Plus Fitness Racing rocket in sixth place for the start of the race.
André had a great start to the race and picked up a couple of places and maintained good speed through the first couple of stints. However our luck swung the other way when André had contact with another car at the final turn which put him into a spin and punctured one of his tyres. He was forced into the pits for repairs and a safety car was issued while the other car involved was removed from the track.
Rick was able to jump to P5 following the safety car and looked to be in a good position for the restart. However he copped a whack which put him on the grass, collecting one of the polystyrene signs and blocking his air intake and brake ducts which forced a pitstop to clear the debris from the car.
Garry Jacobson and Simona De Silvestro had solid races and were able to stay out of trouble. Simona finished twelfth in her Team Harvey Norman Nissan, while Garry claimed nineteenth in the Rabble.club entry. Rick's Castrol car came in P20 and André's Plus Fitness Nissan P23.
Kelly Racing Driver quotes
Simona De Silvestro, Team Harvey Norman
"Once again I didn't really get a good start so we need to work on that because we lost two positions there but then we had really good pace in the clean air so that was positive. However, we struggled when behind cars to get by people in the areas where it mattered and on the straight."
"The safety car was ok for us because we made a few positions there so that was positive. It was a good weekend overall, we had pace in clean air which helped us to produce consistent results."
Garry Jacobson, Rabble.club Racing
"Still plenty to improve on but at stages during the race our one-lap pace was quite strong on fresh tyres and in clean air. I just still need to work on tyre longevity, tyre degradation isn't quite where it should be and there were a couple of instances today where tyre temperatures were too hot."
"But best qualifying result yesterday was a great high for me in my rookie Supercars season, and I had a couple of good battles out there with guys with pace similar to mine so I think there was definitely an improvement there."
Rick Kelly, Castrol Racing
"After a tough qualifying, the guys needed to give me a fast race car and a nifty strategy and they delivered both of those things and got us into the top five. Unfortunately the restart was one of those tricky ones where you come around the last corner still at 60km/h and the rule is you can overlap past the last corner but not overtake until the start/finish line."
"Shane had momentum and a little bit of an overlap which was enough to turn me onto the grass as I went to cover it. So I have to put my hand up for that one and say it's my fault. We can take a bit from this weekend in that we had a fast car and got ourselves into a good position and go to the next one and try and capitalise on that."
André Heimgartner, Plus Fitness Racing
"It was good to get a good start and the first couple of stints were good then it was just unfortunate what happened but it is what it is. We've got some positives to take away so we'll just take them forward and keep going.
"There's not much you can do, at least we were there to fight for a top six place."