Kelly Racing is an Australian motor racing team which competes in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship. The team, owned by John and Margaret Kelly, made its debut in 2009, and raced Holden VE Commodores until the end of the 2012 season. In 2013, the team switched to competing with Nissan Altimas, and was rebranded Nissan Motorsport.

Kelly Racing
ManufacturerNissan
Team PrincipalRick & Todd Kelly
Team ManagerScott Sinclair
Race DriversSupercars:
3. Garry Jacobson
7. Andre Heimgartner
15. Rick Kelly
78. Simona de Silvestro
TCR Australia:
6. Molly Taylor
37. Chelsea Angelo
62. Alex Rullo
777. Andre Heimgartner
ChassisSupercars:
Nissan Altima L33
TCR Australia:
Holden BK Astra
Subaru WRX
Debut2009
Drivers' Championships0
Round wins1
Race wins5
Pole positions6
2019 position7/15: 8th (3706 pts)
3/78: 10th (2746 pts)

Following the Nissan sponsorship concluding, the team was rebranded back to Kelly Racing in 2019. The team is based in the Melbourne suburb of Braeside.

In 2019 the team expanded into the new TCR Australia Touring Car Series, running another four cars, a pair each of Opel Astra TCRs branded as Holden Astras and Subaru WRX STI TCRs.

The team's current drivers are Rick Kelly, Garry Jacobson, Andre Heimgartner and Simona de Silvestro in Nissan Altimas; Heimgartner also races in the TCR series alongside drivers including Molly Taylor, Bryce Fullwood, Chelsea Angelo and Alex Rullo.

Kelly RacingEdit

 
Former Nismo logo

IntroductionEdit

Despite some initial hurdles,[1] the team was formed in 2009,[2] after several months of preparation. The two sons of the owners, Rick and Todd were lead drivers for 2009, with sponsorship from Jack Daniel's. Jack Perkins and Dale Wood (though later replaced by Mark McNally), were confirmed as drivers of the third and fourth Kelly Racing entries.

FormationEdit

After a troubled relationship with Tom Walkinshaw, with whom they formed the HSV Dealer Team, team principals John and Margaret Kelly took their two V8 Supercar Racing Entitlement Contracts (RECs) to set up Kelly Racing, forcing Walkinshaw to find other RECs to run his second team in the championship.

With a decision by Holden to reduce support for most teams running their Commodore product in the series for 2009,[3] along with the impending economic crisis,[4] Larry Perkins chose to scale back his involvement in the sport through his Perkins Engineering team at the end of 2008. A deal was concluded that saw Perkins Engineering sell much of its hardware including cars to the new team, as well as provide engineering services with the functions gradually to be transferred to Kelly Racing. Many of the former Perkins Engineering transferred to Kelly Racing. Perkins also retained ownership of his RECs and was thus the entrant for the team's third and fourth cars.

Racing numbers were swapped so that the Kelly owned licences could make use of the #7 racing number, to suit major sponsor Jack Daniel's and their "Old Number 7" brand. This sponsorship had been carried over from Perkins Engineering, where Todd Kelly was previously using the #7 racing number.

2009Edit

The new team had its track debut at Winton Raceway on 3 March 2009, running the allowed 20-lap shakedown test for newly constructed cars in the V8 Supercar category,[2] which was declared a success by both Todd and Rick. Following this initial shakedown, the team appeared at the official category test day at the same circuit on 9 March 2009, where all four cars appeared.[5][6]

The team's first race was the 2009 Clipsal 500. The two Kelly brothers finished in the top ten in the first race,[7] Todd in 7th and Rick in 10th, after starting 24th and 17th respectively.[8] Wood, who did not set a qualifying time after a crash in practice, finished 14th after starting from pitlane. Perkins failed to finish due to badly damaged steering caused by brushing the wall. Rick was the only one of the four drivers to finish the second race, again in 10th place.[9] Todd Kelly and Jack Perkins both inflicted steering damage from contact with other cars while Dale Wood spun into the wall. The team left the weekend with Rick Kelly 8th in the championship standings, Todd Kelly in 16th, Dale Wood in 24th and Jack Perkins in 30th.[10] Todd made the following comment on the team's first weekend: "Getting an event under our belt, we've now got pages and pages of things we need to address and improve on. This is our first race as a brand new team so given that, I think the weekend wasn't too bad."

Todd and Rick achieved numerous top ten results as the season went on, the best being Rick's 4th places at Winton and Hidden Valley, while Perkins and Wood struggled. Wood was replaced by Mark McNally from the Townsville round onwards.

Todd and Rick teamed up in the #7 car for the endurances races at Phillip Island and Bathurst with Nathan Pretty and Ben Collins driving the #15 car. Dale Wood returned to the driving seat to partner Jack Perkins in the #11 car while Tony Ricciardello joined Mark McNally in the #16 car. The Kelly brothers finished fifth in the L&H 500 after Todd won one of the qualifying races.[11] Bet 24/7 came on board as major sponsor for the #11 car before Bathurst, with Perkins and Wood running #247 for the Bathurst weekend. Todd and Rick Kelly were running in second place with only a handful of laps to go in the Bathurst 1000, but a damaged rear wing and a late safety car led to the brothers finishing in eighth place.[12]

Perkins reverted to #11 for the remainder of the season. The team scored its first podium finish at the Island 300, which turned out to be the first in a hat-trick of podiums for the team, with Rick finishing third and second at Phillip Island and Todd finishing second in race one at Barbagallo. The final championship standings saw Rick Kelly finish in eighth, Todd Kelly in 18th, Jack Perkins in 26th, Dale Wood in 29th and Mark McNally in 30th. Jack Daniel's Racing (#7 and #15) finished sixth in teams' championship with Kelly Racing (#11 and #16) in 13th and last of the two car teams.

2010Edit

In 2010 Jason Bargwanna and Tony Ricciardello joined the team.

Rick took the team's first pole position at Winton but did not manage a win. Only one podium result came out of 2010, Rick finishing third in the rain-affected first race of the Sydney 500.

For the endurance races, Rick and Todd were not allowed to pair up due to new regulations regarding endurance co-drivers. Owen Kelly, of no relation to the two brothers, joined Rick in the #15 car while Dale Wood drove with Todd. Ricciardello was partnered by Taz Douglas while two-time Australian touring car champion Glenn Seton partnered Bargwanna. Rick and Owen had a strong run at the Phillip Island 500, finishing fourth after needing to conserve fuel at the end of the race, while the other three cars all finished outside the top fifteen. The team had a disappointing Bathurst, with none of the cars finishing in the top ten, the best result 16th place for Rick and Owen.

The team hired Scott Dixon and Alex Tagliani as its international drivers for the Gold Coast 600, Dixon driving with Todd Kelly and Tagliani with Bargwanna. Owen Kelly remained with Rick and Wood moved into the #16 car with Ricciardello. It proved to be another average weekend, with Rick and Owen again providing the best result, a sixth place in race two.

The final championship standings saw Rick and Todd repeat their 2009 efforts, finishing eighth and 18th respectively. Bargwanna ended up 24th and Ricciardello was 26th. Jack Daniel's Racing was fifth in the teams' championship and Kelly Racing was 11th.

2011Edit

The Jack Daniel's Racing drivers remained the same for 2011, but two new drivers were hired for Kelly Racing, Greg Murphy[13] and David Reynolds.[14]

2011 was the team's most successful season to date. Rick Kelly scored the team's first race win in wet conditions at the Hamilton 400.[15] Todd made it an extra special day by finishing in third place despite having a broken windscreen wiper. Rick won a further two races, with a win in Darwin at Hidden Valley and a win at Sandown later in the season, placing 6th in the championship. Todd for a third year straight placed 18th in the series, Reynolds impressed on his return to V8 Supercars, with numerous top ten qualifying efforts and two top five race results, eventually placing 19th. Murphy placed a respectable 13th in the Pepsi Max Holden.

For the endurance races, the team signed David Russell, Allan Simonsen, Owen Kelly and Tim Blanchard to drive with the team, with Russell joining Todd in Car #7, Simonsen joining Murphy in car #11, Owen Kelly joining Rick in #15 and Blanchard pairing up with Reynolds in #16. For the Gold Coast 600, the team signed Richard Westbrook to drive with Todd, Oliver Gavin to drive with Murphy, Jörg Bergmeister to drive with Rick and Alex Tagliani to join Reynolds. At Phillip Island, all cars finished in the top 15, with car #16 the best in 6th. At Bathurst, a fifth car was entered, the #77 Shannons-Mars Racing Commodore, with Grant Denyer and Cameron Waters driving the car. Car #11 claimed Pole position, with #16 qualifying in 4th, the Jack Daniels cars qualified in 16th and 19th, car #77 qualified 29th and Last. Murphy and Simonsen eventually finished 11 seconds behind the winners in 3rd position, with car #16 finishing in 19th, Car #15 placing 22nd and Car #7 placing 24th, some 7 laps down on Murphy and Simonsen, the fifth car of Denyer and Waters did not finish.

2012Edit

2012 started with the announcement that they would switch to Nissan for 2013 making them the first team to change manufacturers for the new regulations.

Rebirth as Nissan MotorsportEdit

Rick Kelly driving for the team in 2013.
James Moffat driving for the team in 2013.
The Nissan Altimas of Michael Caruso and James Moffat at the 2015 Sydney Motorsport Park Super Sprint.

2013Edit

In January 2013 the RECs of Larry Perkins were purchased for the third and fourth entries.[16] For 2013 the team was rebranded as Nissan Motorsport. Michael Caruso and James Moffat were recruited to drive the third and fourth entries.

2014Edit

All four drivers continued with the team in 2014. After the 2014 Season, Norton ended their title sponsorship of the Moffat and Caruso entries.

2015Edit

For 2015, the Norton inspired race numbers, #36 and #360, were replaced, with Caruso changing to Nissan's traditional #23 (a wordplay on the marque itself, "ni" meaning two and "san" meaning three) and Moffat to #99. Jack Daniels also downsized their sponsorship to just the #15 car of Rick Kelly, with Carsales replacing Jack Daniels on the #7 car of Todd Kelly.

2016Edit

Moffat left the team at the end of 2015 with Dale Wood returning to the team.[17] Caruso won a race for the team at Hidden Valley. The Team also ran a fifth entry in the Bathurst 1000, with Renee Gracie and Simona de Silvestro driving the #360 Harvey Norman Supergirls Altima. The entry placed 14th.

2017Edit

In 2017, Dale Wood was be replaced by Simona de Silvestro.[18] Todd Kelly, Rick Kelly and Michael Caruso remained with the team.

2018Edit

For 2018, Todd Kelly retired and was replaced by Andre Heimgartner. Rick Kelly, Michael Caruso and Simona de Silvestro continued with the team.

Rebirth as Kelly RacingEdit

2019Edit

Following the termination of Nissan's sponsorship, in 2019 the team resumed operating under the Kelly Racing brand.[19] The team will continue to compete with the Nissan Altima under licence from the company.[20][21]

2020Edit

In 2020 the team will scale back to two cars and switch to running Ford Mustang GTs with two Nissan Altimas to contest in the 2020 Super2 Series.[22] Its surplus RECs were sold to Charlie Schwerkolt Racing and Matt Stone Racing.

Supercars Championship driversEdit

The following is a list of drivers who have driven for the team in V8 Supercars, in order of their first appearance. Drivers who only drove for the team in an endurance race co-driver basis are listed in italics.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Kelly Racing is far from a done deal". V8 Supercars Australia. 23 November 2008. Retrieved 4 March 2009.
  2. ^ a b "Jack Daniel's teams up with Kelly Racing". Holden Motorsport. 2 March 2009. Archived from the original on 26 May 2011. Retrieved 3 March 2009.
  3. ^ "Holden re-allocates V8 Supercar funding". V8 Supercars Australia. 21 January 2009. Retrieved 4 March 2009.
  4. ^ "LP to take back seat?". V8 Supercars Australia. 23 November 2008. Retrieved 4 March 2009.
  5. ^ "2009 V8 Supercar Official Test Day - Victoria - Session One Results". Natsoft. 9 March 2009. Retrieved 9 March 2009.
  6. ^ "2009 V8 Supercar Official Test Day - Victoria - Session Two Results". Natsoft. 9 March 2009. Retrieved 9 March 2009.
  7. ^ "2009 Clipsal 500 - Race One Saturday Results". Natsoft. 21 March 2009. Retrieved 21 March 2009.
  8. ^ "2009 Clipsal 500 - Combined Qualifying and Top Ten Shootout Results". Natsoft. 20 March 2009. Retrieved 20 March 2009.
  9. ^ "2009 Clipsal 500 - Race Two Sunday Results". Natsoft. 22 March 2009. Retrieved 24 March 2009.
  10. ^ "2009 Championship Standings after Clipsal 500". Natsoft. 22 March 2009. Retrieved 24 March 2009.
  11. ^ "2009 Phillip Island 500 - Official Results". Natsoft. 13 September 2009. Retrieved 21 November 2009.
  12. ^ "2009 Bathurst 1000 - Official Results". Natsoft. 11 October 2009. Retrieved 21 November 2009.
  13. ^ "Murphy And Pepsi Join Forces At Kelly Racing". BigPond Sport. 27 January 2011.
  14. ^ "Young gun Reynolds to return as a full-time V8 Supercars driver in 2011 with Kelly Racing". Fox Sports. 9 December 2010. Retrieved 27 August 2011.
  15. ^ "Rick Kelly Wins Thrilling Hamilton Opener". BigPond Sport. 16 April 2011.
  16. ^ "Larry Perkins Confirms Sale of RECs to Kelly Racing" Speedcafe 24 January 2013
  17. ^ "Nissan Motorsport signs Dale Wood for 2016 V8 Supercar Championship" Nissan Motorsport 16 November 2015
  18. ^ Gadeke, Kassie (17 November 2016). "Nissan wins race for Simona". Supercars. Retrieved 17 November 2016.
  19. ^ Kelly Racing committed to four-car model Supercars 15 May 2018
  20. ^ Howard, Tom (15 May 2018). "Nissan to withdraw Supercars support, Altimas to continue". speedcafe.com. Speedcafe. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  21. ^ van Leeuwen, Andrew (15 May 2018). "Nissan to end works Supercars programme after 2018 season". autosport.com. Motorsport Network. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  22. ^ "Kelly Racing confirms two car Ford Mustang program". Speedcafe. 15 October 2019.

External linksEdit