12 MAR 2020
Kelly Racing makes strong start to Aus GP
Kelly Racing has made a successful start to its Australian Grand Prix Melbourne 400 campaign, showing strong pace in today's practice and qualifying sessions at the Albert Park F1 street circuit.
The team kicked off the day by getting both the Castrol Racing and NED Racing Mustangs into the top ten in practice one. André Heimgartner set the pace by finishing the session in P5 and Rick Kelly wasn't far behind in the Castrol car in eighth spot.
Unfortunately in the second practice session André had trouble with his brakes but was able to keep out of trouble and bring the car in for repairs ahead of qualifying. Rick meanwhile had a great performance in Practice Two finishing in third place.
Today's qualifying sessions were a challenge for all Supercar teams as the drivers essentially only had one flying lap in each of the ten-minute sessions to maximise the soft tyres before they started to lose grip and slow down.
Despite limited running in practice, André managed to claim fifth place on the grid for Race One and ninth spot for Race two. Unfortunately Rick and the Castrol team were caught out slightly by the increase in pace between practice and qualifying and didn't have the car to be in the top ten. Rick will start Race One and Two in P13 and P17 respectively.
The team now looks ahead to day two of the Australian Grand Prix which includes more qualifying sessions and Race One of the event.
André Heimgartner, #7 NED Racing
"Today went pretty well for us, the car was pretty solid aside from a few dramas with the brakes there in the second practice session. We're fairly relieved to get a good result today in qualifying, I think Adelaide just didn't suit the setup and we were still getting our heads around everything. We've definitely learnt a lot both in terms of engineering the car and driving and overall I'm really happy with that, we've got a good place to start tomorrow."
"I think it's going to be wet tomorrow too so you never know what's going to happen, but certainly a happy to be starting the race near the front and hopefully out of any trouble so we can have a good race."
Rick Kelly, #15 Castrol Racing
"We were probably a bit mislead by the performance in practice. When it came to qualifying we aimed to replicate what we did in practice and step it up in a few small areas and keep it consistent but unfortunately everyone has made a massive step up. What we did in practice proved not to be exactly the direction we should have gone in for quali."
"We're still learning, we're still a little bit inconsistent and that's a result of where we're at with the car. We thought off what we were doing that it was going to be pretty steady but it just wasn't. That coupled with me probably not quite having the confidence in the car and not driving it to its full capability with how it was handling, didn't put us in a great position."
"We've got a little bit of work to do overnight to tidy up my inputs inside the car and what the car is behaving like as well."