Todd Kelly believes that extra work on his fitness will be key to his chances of success in the opening V8 Supercar enduro event of the season at Phillip Island.

Kelly will team up with Nathan Pretty in the #7 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore for the L&H 500 and he admitted that good levels would be important for the race with the possibility of drivers spending up to two hours in the car at one of the most challenging circuits on the Australian motorsport scene.

"Phillip Island is a high-load track; it's hard to drive around, you don't get much rest and if the fuel strategies work out a certain way you could be in the car for two hours," he said. "I'm hoping it pans out that way - I'd love the challenge of doing two hours non-stop around there, it would be fantastic."

The race weekend will take on a new format, with two 14-lap sprint races on Saturday deciding the grid for the main event itself.

However, Kelly said that getting the car set-up right for the 500km event on Sunday would be crucial, even with points on offer for the two 'qualifying' events.

"We'll leave our strategy for Saturday's races until the last minute to give ourselves a better chance of making the right decision," he continued. "One race we need to finish and be conservative in, the other we probably need to get right up the front. But in saying that, as a total weekend strategy, it's probably more important just to survive those two and capitalise on the last race. There's two ways to look at it.

"I believe 100 per cent of the set-up attention needs to be put on how the car is for the long distance. Qualifying on pole is trivial. If you can get your car to hang in and drive sensibly it'll be a race you can come from last to first."

In the sister #11 car, Jack Daniel's regular Shane Price will team up with Jack Perkins for the third straight year and he admitted he was looking forward to the weekend.

"I'm really looking forward to racing with Jack again, the new format gives us both an equal go at it," he said. "There's going to be a lot of focus on getting the most out of the tyres and you'll see a lot of long runs in practice to stimulate race conditions. For the enduros, everyone plays with a bit more of a level-headed approach and there's less likely to be the silly moves of the sprint rounds."

 

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