Despite having never raced around Hidden Valley Raceway before, Kelly Racing’s rookie driver Garry Jacobson has had a Supercars career best race result today. Following a big step in the right direction at Winton a few weeks ago, Garry has continued to progress today finishing fourteenth in the #3 Rabble.club Racing entry in a chaotic first race in Darwin.
Garry was able to keep out of trouble during a frantic few opening laps before the team went with an early pitstop to undercut the competition and get Garry out into some clean air where he really excelled.
Simona De Silvestro endured a frustrating race after missing an opportunity to jump forward early in the race in the Team Harvey Norman car. However as with Garry, Sim showed really positive tyre wear and had good car speed at times – a promising sign for tomorrow’s race.
André Heimgartner’s race result in the #7 Plus Fitness Racing car didn’t reflect the speed that the car had across the day. The car #7 crew made a huge improvement on Friday’s practice setup and the team had the pace to mix it with the top ten. However contact with Winterbottom early in the race put André on the back foot going forward and an unrelated fifteen-second time penalty was the icing on the cake.
Rick Kelly’s day also didn’t go to plan in the Castrol Racing car after he was handed a drive-through penalty for punting Slade off the track at turn five.
Garry Jacobson, #3 Rabble.club Racing
“The progress made today is the biggest reason that I’m happy, finishing P14 felt like I’d won a race. We had a really good strategy thanks to my engineer Chris, he got me out in clear air and we’ve changed the car a fair bit today to try and tune the oversteer out and that’s gone hand-in-hand with making my tyre life better as well. We weren’t super strong in qualifying but this has been the first time where we’ve been able to turn it around and have pretty good race pace and this is the first time that I’ve had such good tyre life that I’ve been able to use it and get in front of a lot of the guys by undercutting them in the pit stops and then making it last the rest of the race. I really enjoyed that race and enjoyed having a super soft tyre that wasn’t falling away drastically lap after lap.”
Simona De Silvestro, #78 Team Harvey Norman
“I had a bit of a crack early on in the race unfortunately I was too close to the car in front and just had no air on the front splitter and locked up when I hit the brakes and hit Hazelwood. It was quite frustrating because a lot of cars were tangling up in front of us so we could have made up a lot of places but yeah that accident put us on the back foot a little. The race was ok but we really struggled with straight-line speed so we need to look into it and see what happens tomorrow.”
André Heimgartner, #7 Plus Fitness Racing
“Really disappointing day for us unfortunately. We made a heap of changes to the car after the race and they really paid off, we had good pace in qualifying and we thought we were on for a good race but it wasn’t meant to be. I didn’t get the best start but we were hanging in there until we had contact with Frosty at the last turn which almost spun the car and we lost a lot of time, not really sure what the go was there. Luckily it didn’t seem to do any damage to the car and from there our lap times were up there. Then under the safety car there was a bit of confusion and we got a fifteen-second penalty for trying to keep the tyre temp up under the safety car which really put us back. Pretty annoying because we had the speed to be in the top ten.”
Rick Kelly, #15 Castrol Racing
“Unfortunately we had a really average day in the Castrol car, we pick up a lot between today and yesterday and in qualifying we had a car that wasn’t too bad and we did a good job in Q1 and got through to Q2 but couldn’t replicate the same lap so we started P15 for the race. The thing that ruined our race was obviously the Slade incident. We had a pretty aggressive battle going on between myself and Tim, he got past me at turn one and then he ran a little wide on the exit of turn five and lost momentum and at that point I just misjudged how slow he was going and how much he was going to come across and I then went to the left and tagged him into the fence. It was my fault and he’s one of the good guys in pitlane so you don’t want to be doing that to someone like Tim. It certainly wasn’t my intention, I was hoping to have a go at at the hairpin but that didn’t happen and I ended up wrecking his race even more so than my own with the drive-through penalty. Just got to shake today off and come back tomorrow and have a good crack.”
Press release Kelly Racing