Todd Kelly completes Nissan sweep in Sydney

Todd Kelly went quickest in Session 3

Todd Kelly went quickest in Session 3

Todd Kelly made it a Nissan Motorsport clean sweep of Saturday at the Sydney.com SuperTest by topping the third and final session of the day.

The Altima driver emulated the results of team-mate and brother Rick Kelly in the opening two sessions of the day, ending the three hour hit-out just 0.0008s clear with a 1:29.54s lap.

Kelly’s effort demoted the Holden Racing Team’s James Courtney, who watched the final minutes from pit lane, to second place ahead of another factory Nissan driver in Michael Caruso.

A failure for David Wall, who had returned to the track having lost a wheel earlier in the session, had necessitated the only red flag, setting up a late flurry of times that included Kelly’s effort.

Rick Kelly’s fifth placing and James Moffat’s seventh saw all four Nissan Motorsport cars finish the day inside the top ten.

While encouraging for the Nissan crew, Todd Kelly stressed that tyre condition had the greatest influence on the times throughout the day.

“We didn’t have too many tyres to throw at it through the day and didn’t know where we were or what the car would do on a decent set,” he said.

“We threw a set on at the end and the car was fairly average, but the quality of the tyre must have been reasonable compared to the others out there.

“We won’t really know where we sit until tomorrow until we’re on exactly the same tyre in the Shootout.”

David Wall's Volvo lost a right-front wheel

David Wall’s Volvo lost a right-front wheel

The Nissans had also set the early pace, with enduro co-driver Dean Fiore putting Caruso’s #10 Altima in top spot just after the quarter-hour mark.

That was the start of an hour-long spell during which Altimas led proceedings, the latter half a top four lock-out, with Moffat taking over the lead before Craig Lowndes hit back for Red Bull Racing Australia.

That was where he stayed, followed mostly by the Nissan quartet and team-mate Jamie Whincup, until just under 10 minutes remaining.

Rick Kelly seized first for barely a moment before being bettered by Courtney, but it was the Nissan squad which would have the last laugh when Todd Kelly found enough time in the final sector to pip the #22 Commodore.

Caruso and Lee Holdsworth made late efforts to clinch third and fourth respectively, from Rick Kelly, David Reynolds, Moffat, Lowndes, Garth Tander, and Erebus Motorsport debutant Ash Walsh.

Marcos Ambrose joined the majority in setting his personal best in the afternoon session to finish the day 15th, while defending champion Jamie Whincup was 18th.

“You don’t read too much into the times at this stage,” said Whincup.

“We focused on a few race runs and to be honest most cars have no tyres left from last year so we were running round on old tyres all day, not because we wanted to, we’ve just got no tyres in the bank.”

Tomorrow’s action will include a 2 hour session from 1000 AEDT, before an all-car Shootout from 1400.

Jamie Whincup was 18th fastest

Jamie Whincup was 18th fastest

Result: Session 3, Sydney Motorsport Park SuperTest

1
Nissan Motorsport          
Todd Kelly              
Nissan Altima       
01:29.54
2
Holden Racing Team         
James Courtney          
Holden Commodore VF 
01:29.54
00:00.00
3
Nissan Motorsport          
M.Caruso/D.Fiore        
Nissan Altima       
01:29.57
00:00.04
4
Walkinshaw Racing          
Lee Holdsworth          
Holden Commodore VF 
01:29.71
00:00.17
5
Nissan Motorsport          
Rick Kelly              
Nissan Altima       
01:29.72
00:00.19
6
The Bottle-O Racing Team   
David Reynolds          
Ford Falcon FG      
01:29.84
00:00.31
7
Nissan Motorsport          
James Moffat            
Nissan Altima       
01:29.92
00:00.38
8
Red Bull Racing Australia  
Craig Lowndes           
Holden Commodore VF 
01:29.92
00:00.39
9
Holden Racing Team         
Garth Tander            
Holden Commodore VF 
01:29.97
00:00.43
10
Erebus Motorsport V8       
Ashley Walsh            
Mercedes E63 AMG    
01:30.02
00:00.49
11
Freightliner Racing        
Fabian Coulthard        
Holden Commodore VF 
01:30.07
00:00.54
12
Ford Pepsi Max Crew        
Mark Winterbottom       
Ford Falcon FG/X    
01:30.09
00:00.55
13
Team GB Galvanizing        
Dale Wood               
Holden Commodore VF 
01:30.13
00:00.60
14
Erebus Motorsport V8       
Will Davison            
Mercedes E63 AMG    
01:30.15
00:00.62
15
DJR Team Penske            
Marcos Ambrose          
Ford Falcon FG/X    
01:30.20
00:00.67
16
Team BOC                   
Jason Bright            
Holden Commodore VF 
01:30.30
00:00.77
17
Ford Pepsi Max Crew        
Chaz Mostert            
Ford Falcon FG/X    
01:30.49
00:00.95
18
Red Bull Racing Australia  
Jamie Whincup           
Holden Commodore VF 
01:30.56
00:01.03
19
LD Motorsprts              
Nick Percat             
Holden Commodore VF 
01:30.61
00:01.08
20
Team TEKNO Darrell Lea     
S.Van Gisbergen/J.Webb  
Holden Commodore VF 
01:30.69
00:01.16
21
Wilson Security Racing GRM 
Scott McLaughlin        
Volvo S60           
01:30.89
00:01.36
22
Supercheap Auto Racing     
Tim Slade               
Holden Commodore VF 
01:31.16
00:01.62
23
Wilson Security Racing GRM 
David Wall              
Volvo S60           
01:31.69
00:02.15
24
LD Motorsports             
Tim Blanchard           
Holden Commodore VF 
01:31.86
00:02.32
25
Super Black Racing         
Andre Heimgartner       
Ford Falcon FG      
01:31.86
00:02.32

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