17 OCT 2020
Preparations complete ahead of the Bathurst 1000
Today Kelly Racing made the final practice laps and preparations ahead of tomorrow's Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000. After qualifying for the great race yesterday afternoon, the team was able to focus purely on race simulation and pit stop procedures today without worrying about qualifying setup for the Top-10 shootout.
The co-drivers got the day started with the additional driver practice session where Dale Wood and Dylan O'Keeffe executed high fuel-load race runs on a variety of different quality tyre sets to provide further understanding of the type of car behaviour they can expect during the race. Once again the co-drivers were focused purely on providing consistent race pace laps and compared to the rest of the field they were highly competitive.
In the second practice session of the day, main drivers Rick Kelly and André Heimgartner jumped back in the car to further refine the race setup of the Ford Mustangs. During this session there was also a significant focus on executing driver changes, pit stops and practice starts.
There will be a further 20-minute warm-up session at Mount Panorama tomorrow morning, however this will be predominantly for the drivers to get there eye in before the big race and feel out the conditions. It's expected there will be a large amount of rain at the beginning of the race so these initial warm-up laps will be critical to understanding the race track in the wet as the team has done zero wet-tyre running this week.
The Bathurst 1000 is scheduled to kick off at 11am local time tomorrow morning.
André Heimgartner, #7 NED Racing
"We've just spent today mainly tuning the car and trying a few different things ahead of the race tomorrow. We're fairly confident we have a strong race setup in the car, we've had pretty good pace in that area and the car is nice to drive but we just wanted to spend today trying a few different things and see if we can improve it a little more."
"It's a little weird not being in the shootout and having a lot of spare time today but that meant we could spend plenty of time practicing pit stops, doing driver changes and just getting all of our procedures right before tomorrow."
Dylan O'Keeffe, #7 NED Racing
"I was pretty fortunate today to get a lot of time in the car, I had the whole session to myself this morning which was nice, just getting comfortable with fuel loads and different tyre sets and feeling how the car responds to those changes."
"The second session today was we had a bit more focus on race procedure, practicing driver changes, brake changes, practicing pit entry and exit, all of that stuff we'll be doing tomorrow in the race. I'm feeling really good and ready to go racing tomorrow."
Rick Kelly, #15 Castrol Racing
"The big negative of today is we're not in the shootout, but that brings with it a positive in that we're able to shift our focus completely to the race and that's everything from car setup, fuel economy, driver changes, pit stops and we had a good day getting all of that stuff sorted and also seeing what we're going to do with strategy."
"It's been a really productive day, we've still got some work to do but overall I think that will put us in a good position for tomorrow for the big race."
Dale Wood, #15 Castrol Racing
"I feel like we've done a hell of a lot of practice heading into this Bathurst 1000, the additional driver sessions have been great in that respect especially this morning having some long stints in the car. It was nice to get that solid hour on my own this morning."
"I'm feeling really comfortable in the car and I'm enjoying driving it so it was good to get more laps under my belt and get more familiar with some of the procedures we'll be doing tomorrow with driver changes and entering and exiting the pit bay."
"All in all I think we're in a good shape for tomorrow, we've just got to keep our nose clean and be there in the end and hopefully finish in a strong position."