Simona De Silvestro has had her career best Supercars finish in today’s finale to the ITM Auckland SuperSprint. Simona brought the Team Harvey Norman Supercar home in seventh position after a positive turn of luck during the first safety car period. From there Simona was able to hold position for the rest of the race against some quick competition to score her first top-ten of her career in Supercars.
Rick Kelly came home in tenth in the Castrol Racing Nissan from a starting position of twentieth on the grid. Some great strategy by the team and quick car pace got Rick up the grid despite losing spots during the early safety car confusion of the race.
André Heimgartner also got knocked down the grid during the safety car confusion dropping down to nineteenth. From there he was on the back foot and didn’t have the car speed to progress much further up the grid.
Garry Jacobson had a rough day in the Rabble.club car after fighting through qualifying and coming out of his first stop of the race a lap down. From there Garry was able to move up a couple of spots with a strong middle stint.
The team now looks forward to the SuperCheap Auto Bathurst 1000 in a few weeks.
Kelly Racing Team quotes
Simona De Silvestro, Team Harvey Norman #78 : “It’s a really good result for me today, with our cars when we crack the top ten it’s good so I’m really happy. Definitely things went a little our way with the safety car but once we were there we were right and that’s really what counts. Huge thanks to Gio for getting the car just where I wanted it and just continuously working on fine tuning it for me to drive quick. Today is proof that we’re going in the right direction, I’m really happy with the team, we’re all working really hard and it’s cool for everyone to get a positive result, hard work pays off.”
Rick Kelly, Castrol Racing #15 : “We tried something big overnight after we had a tough day yesterday and unfortunately when we do a big change like that it’s hard to land right on what you need, you have to fine tune it a little bit and we missed it in qualifying and during the race unfortunately we didn’t get the Christmas present that Simona had with the safety car. We definitely had to work for tenth spot, we fuelled up heavy with the safety car coming out and it put us in a good position to be able to hold off the others. We played with the car a fair bit during the race and actually learnt a fair bit from it and we need to take that onboard and implement it at the next events.”
André Heimgartner, Plus Fitness Racing #7 : “Yeah today was pretty frustrating with everything that happened with the safety car. We again didn’t quite get the qualifying result we wanted but improved from yesterday and had a pretty good spot after the first stop and then the safety car put us a long way back. We just struggled from there. Basically the safety car came out but didn’t pick up the leader and there was a group of us which were stuck behind it for a while and none of us were the leader, we probably should have been up the pointy end but instead we were back in nineteenth.”
Garry Jacobson, Rabble.club Racing #3 : “I don’t think my poor finishing position in today’s race was my fault, the team made the call to double stack myself and Sim under the safety car and during that I got lapped with the whole safety car timing. From then on I was racing Macauly and Jack and I managed to do a very successful second stint and go very long and keep up with them when they had pitted and had fresh tyres. From there I was able to get by them which is really positive as they’re my main rivals in the championship standings. Every race I feel like I’m improving irrespective of finishing position, just getting pit stops positioning right, so overall I’m happy with my performance as a rookie.”
Press release Kelly Racing