WINTON, Australia – Jack Daniel’s Racing Nissan Altima driver Rick Kelly says there will be no such thing as a home track advantage, as the V8 Supercars Championship moves to Winton Motor Raceway this weekend.
With 2015 season testing regulations only allowing for a single private outing, the Victorian based Nissan Motorsport squad hasn’t visited the rural circuit since its pre-Sandown test last September.
Traditionally the tight Winton layout has been a strong one for the team, with James Moffat earning a breakthrough victory at the venue in 2013.
Kelly meanwhile is continuing his strongest start to the season since Nissan rejoined the championship, and following on from a pair of top-10 results at the recent Barbagallo Raceway round, sits 10th in the points standings.
The event format follows the same Super Sprint schedule as the previous two rounds, with twin 20-lap races on Saturday and a 67-lap race on Sunday.
RICK KELLY, Jack Daniel’s Racing Nissan Altima
“It’s hard to remember the last time we went to Winton testing,” said Rick Kelly.
“With only one test day per year allowed under the current rules, you want to save that until the endurance season, give your co-drivers some good miles, practice your pit stops, driver changes, and so on.
“Obviously you also want to use your test day to try out items that you don’t have the confidence or time to try out at race meetings, especially with some of the bigger developments.
“For us, we’re still waiting on some components to come for the engine, so we’ll definitely have that test day a little bit later in the year.
“The home track advantage isn’t really an advantage anymore; it’s just another track on the calendar.
“Just looking at the results over the years, Queensland based teams have been strong down here, and vice versa.
“Over the years we’ve done a lot of miles around Winton, and for us it’s a track that presents opportunities, there’s no doubt about that.
“If we do a good job there, we should be well and truly towards the front; there are no big ticket items standing in the way of us getting a good result there.
“In saying that, it is a very difficult track to get right, from both a setup and driving point of view.
“Last year certainly went down into the history books as one of the most interesting and controversial race meetings we’ve had in a long time, with some of the repair work which was carried out that gripped the track up considerably.
“Come race day, it was a couple of seconds a lap quicker than we expected, and the lap record was broken.
“It was an interesting one, I’m pretty sure that’s not going to happen again this year, so that record will stand for many years to come.”
Following on from Perth-
“Certainly the last couple of rounds were setting up to be tougher ones on us,” said Kelly.
“We obviously haven’t been back to Winton since we’ve made the slight changes to the aero package in the off season.
“I’m quite keen to see how it all pans out, and see exactly how strong we are there.
“It’s good to be able to jump in the car only two weeks after the Perth round, nice and close together, we’re fresh and ready to go, and we’re still a bit frustrated after Sunday’s race at Barbagallo.
“We plan to use that to our advantage and make sure that we get a result.”
EVENT 4 – WINTON SUPERSPRINT
- Circuit: Winton Motor Raceway
- Circuit Location: Winton, Victoria
- Circuit Length: 3km
- Qualifying Format: Two 10-minute; one 20-minute qualifying sessions
- Race Format: Two 20-lap races; one 67-lap race
Times in EST
Friday May 15
- 9:50am – 10:50am: Practice 1
- 12:55pm – 1:55pm: Practice 2
Saturday May 16
- 9:35am – 9:50am: Practice 3
- 11:55am – 12:05pm: Qualifying Race 10
- 12:20pm – 12:30pm: Qualifying Race 11
- 2:20pm – 3:00pm: Race 10, 20 laps
- 4:35pm – 4:15pm: Race 11, 20 laps
Sunday May 17
- 10:55am – 11:10am: Practice 4
- 11:55am – 12:15pm: Qualifying Race 12
- 1:45pm – 3:30pm: Race 12, 67 laps
After nine races
- Craig Lowndes 717 points
- James Courtney 665
- Mark Winterbottom 643
- Fabian Coulthard 641
- Jamie Whincup 630
- Shane Van Gisbergen 595
- Garth Tander 595
- Chaz Mostert 545
- David Reynolds 486
- Rick Kelly 431
Nissan NP300 Navara confirmed as naming-rights sponsor of Winton V8 event
The all-new Nissan NP300 Navara will be the name behind Event 4 of the 2015 V8 Supercars Championship at Winton Motor Raceway in Victoria this weekend.
The event will be known as the NP300 Navara Winton SuperSprint to celebrate the upcoming launch of Nissan’s latest pick-up utility in Australia.
As well as event naming rights sponsorship, Michael Caruso’s #23 Nissan Altima V8 Supercar will race at Winton in a fresh NP300 Navara livery.
The striking red color scheme of the #23 NP300 Navara Nissan Altima V8 Supercar is also a nod to the upcoming race debut of the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO LM P1 car at next month’s Le Mans 24 Hour, part of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Fans attending the NP300 Navara Winton SuperSprint will get a chance to see the all-new Nissan NP300 Navara on display at the circuit this weekend.
The all-new Nissan NP300 Navara is “powerful made clever,” a tough, powerful and capable vehicle with premium ride, comfort and interior, smart technologies and sleek, modern styling.
NP300 Navara is built on Nissan’s 80-year history of building reliable and innovative pick-up utilities, or “utes,” with over 14 million Nissan pick-ups sold globally.
“Winton is a great fit with our all-new Nissan NP300 Navara,” said Nissan Motor Co. (Australia) Managing Director and CEO Richard Emery.
“This event is a favorite with dedicated motorsport fans, many of which will be driving to the event or camping at the circuit with their own Navara.
“The NP300 Navara Winton SuperSprint comes at an opportune time for us as the NP300 Navara goes on sale in Nissan dealerships around Australia in the days following this weekend’s event.”
The NP300 Navara Winton SuperSprint also marks the 30th anniversary of the first time the rural circuit hosted the Australian Touring Car Championship/V8 Supercars Championship in 1985.
Nissan has taken victory at Winton in 1989 (George Fury, Nissan Skyline), 1990 (Jim Richards, Nissan Skyline), 1991 (Jim Richards, Nissan GT-R) 1992 (Mark Skaife, Nissan GT-R) and 2013 (James Moffat, Nissan Altima).