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Motoring Top Stories

Ricciardo cuts Nissan Supercars laps

motorsport.com logomotorsport.com 13/03/2019 Andrew van Leeuwen

Daniel Ricciardo drove a full-blown Supercar for the first time today, jumping behind the wheel of a Kelly Racing Nissan.

Rick Kelly, Kelly Racing Nissan, Daniel Ricciardo, Renault F1 Team © Castrol Racing Rick Kelly, Kelly Racing Nissan, Daniel Ricciardo, Renault F1 Team The Formula 1 superstar sampled Rick Kelly's Altima as part of a Castrol promotional event, cutting laps of the Calder circuit on the outskirts of the Victorian capital.

Rick Kelly, Kelly Racing Nissan, Daniel Ricciardo, Renault F1 Team © Castrol Racing Rick Kelly, Kelly Racing Nissan, Daniel Ricciardo, Renault F1 Team

His first run consisted of around 10 laps on his own in the car, before Kelly jumped in for a second run.

a body of water: Rick Kelly, Kelly Racing Nissan, Daniel Ricciardo, Renault F1 Team © Castrol Racing Rick Kelly, Kelly Racing Nissan, Daniel Ricciardo, Renault F1 Team

According to Ricciardo, the biggest things that caught his attention were the sound from the 600-horsepower V8 engine, and the stick-operated sequential gear shift.

"I didn't have ear plugs, I probably should have worn ear plugs," he said.

"But yeah, the upshift – pulling a stick feels good. A paddle is easy, it's made my life easy as a racecar driver because I can't heel-and-toe.

"But all that sort of stuff. The vibrations, it all just feels raw. The downshifting and banging it through and hearing it backfire. It was awesome.

Rick Kelly, Kelly Racing Nissan, Daniel Ricciardo, Renault F1 Team © Castrol Racing Rick Kelly, Kelly Racing Nissan, Daniel Ricciardo, Renault F1 Team

"I wouldn't say I got up to speed, but it took me a few laps to figure it out. When you've got so much aero you can brake right into the corner and then pick up the throttle early. There's not much rolling time.

"But here, there's a lot more rolling time here. It's more in steps; you brake, ease off, roll, pick up the throttle. It's more delicate, in a way.

"[And] just picking some apexes with all of the roll cage and all that. I couldn't see much. I could see more out the front compared to an F1 car, but out the side it was trickier."


a man wearing a football uniform: Rick Kelly, Kelly Racing Nissan, Daniel Ricciardo, Renault F1 Team © Castrol Racing Rick Kelly, Kelly Racing Nissan, Daniel Ricciardo, Renault F1 Team

Ricciardo's only previous Supercars experience came during a Red Bull promo run in the Triple Eight Sandman wagon back in 2016.

a close up of a toy car: Rick Kelly, Kelly Racing Nissan, Daniel Ricciardo, Renault F1 Team © Castrol Racing Rick Kelly, Kelly Racing Nissan, Daniel Ricciardo, Renault F1 Team

While very close to Supercars-spec, the Sandman has a paddle shift system and more power than a homologated racecar.

© Castrol Racing

"That didn't really want to drive in a straight line," he said.

"That actually scared me. Probably because of that I was like 'if that's how [Supercars] really are...'

"But this felt more race-ready. I felt like I could have a bit of a go in this today, whereas the Sandman was a couple of laps of filming. I didn't get enough time to get a real feel of it.

"This was... I don't know, it was cool. They're fast as well. It's got some ponies.

"Coming onto the drag strip [at Calder] where it was a bit slippery, that was my favourite part. It would always snap out a bit.

"That was fun."

Pictures: Daniel Ricciardo: Life and career in pictures


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