Kelly goes for gold
RICK Kelly has signalled his intention to attack the Gold Coast 600 course this weekend, as he attempts to return to the top five in the V8 Supercars championship standings.
The Jack Daniels Racing driver said he was bitterly disappointed with his result at Bathurst, which pushed him out to seventh on the standings.
But he was excited about today's practice session at Willowbank, where he will unveil his international driving partner German Jörg Bergmeister.
Kelly's Brother Todd, in the other Jack Daniels car, will team with Englishman Richard Westbrook, a two-time winner of the prestigious Porsche Supercup.
In those two men, the Kelly brothers are confident they have the 'dark horses' of this year's Gold Coast 600.
Kelly, the 2006 V8 Supercars champion, was fourth in last year's race on the streets of Surfers Paradise, and will look to go even better this weekend.
"That Bathurst result hurt our championship. We were chasing third and now we are seventh, which is bad," Kelly said.
"Our mode changes from Bathurst. We are now in attack mode. We cannot sit there and try to just collect points.
"We need to attack hard and the Gold Coast weekend is where that starts for us.
"For me in the number 15 Jack Daniel's Commodore, Jörg comes with a very, very strong reputation for being an excellent, world class driver.
"A few people, including my engineer Adam (Hardy), have recommended him very highly so I'm very excited to get to Queensland Raceway today to do the test day with him, try to learn some things from him, get his take on where we could be improving and as a driver learn from him.
"It's a pretty amazing opportunity we have this week and I'm looking forward to having a big attack at this event and looking forward to not only trying to collect a couple of surfboard trophies but also getting up back up to around third or fourth in the championship.
Kelly said his-co drivers experience with touring cars would serve them well in a V8.
"Having these GT guys join us this year, where their platform of racing is closer and more suited to what we do, I'm sure we are going to have great success with them over the weekend," he said.
"We will put Jörg in my car and give him lots of laps, get him nice and comfortable in the car, make some changes with him in the car and get him used to the soft tyre. "
Meanwhile, Brazilian Tony Kanaan has withdrawn from this weekend's race in the wake of close friend Dan Wheldon's IndyCar crash death.