02 MAR 2019
Promising showing for Kelly Racing in opening race of 2019
Adelaide, South Australia (2 March, 2019) Kelly Racing has finished the opening race of the 2019 Supercars Championship with three cars inside the top 15 at Adelaide today.
Castrol driver Rick Kelly started the day with a run in the Top 10 Shootout after his strong eighth place in qualifying yesterday.
Kelly's lap would only produce a 10th place start, and a steady start to the race saw him inside or near the top 10. After battling through the pain of a blistered right foot, Kelly finished 11th overall.
Plus Fitness Kiwi Andre Heimgartner crossed the finish line in 13th place, having lost a spot on the final lap when he ran low of fuel.
Heimgartner pitted on the first lap, but with no safety cars during the race, the strategy did not bring its full potential.
Team Harvey Norman driver Simona De Silvestro put in a super consistent performance, moving up to finish 15th. The Swiss pulled off a number of passing moves and ran competitively with the mid-pack as she continues to find a better car balance.
RABBLE.Club rookie Garry Jacobson was 19th overall in his first race as a full-time Supercars driver.
Jacobson stayed out of trouble and come home with a straight car to record a solid bank of championship points.
The Adelaide 500 will conclude tomorrow, kicking off with qualifying at 10:30am Adelaide time, followed by another top 10 shootout at 12:45pm and the race at 3:20pm.
#15 Castrol Racing
"I'm very glad to have got through that," said Rick Kelly.
"There was a lot of concern over the temperatures and the general fitness for these conditions. I'm glad we had prepared as best we could for that.
"For me, the only thing that was a concern for me was my right foot. I started to struggle with the temperature on the pedal with about 35 laps to go. I was trying ho manage that the best I could.
"We've been up and down with the set-up over the weekend. We landed on a solid one for qualifying, but we pushed it slightly out of the window for the race. We'll step it back a notch now and continue to progress.
#7 Plus Fitness
"It was a bit of a frustrating race for us. We rolled the dice with the early pit stop, but there was no safety car," said Andre Heimgartner.
"The pace was half alright. I managed to pass a few cars, and in the end I just ran out of fuel and lost a spot.
"Overall, not too bad. Not much else we could have done, so we'll just have a think about it tonight and do better tomorrow."
Simona De Silvestro
#78 Team Harvey Norman
"I thought it was a good recovery from where we have been this week," said Simona De Silvestro.
"My start was terrible and lost some spots, but my pace was good and we learned a few things. We were just really consistent with our laps times and that gave us a few positions.
"It was a good race, but there's a few little things that we can even better."
"It was a fast pace, start to finish, but I know I need to chip away at it because I'm a rookie and I know what my current limits are," said Garry Jacobson.
"I lost my drink tube with half of the race to go. That was a bit of a drama, but my boys coached me through it.
"I finished ahead of where I started, so I can't ask for anymore. Bring on tomorrow."