Brothers Todd and Rick Kelly have opened the doors on one of Australian sport's most ambitious projects with the launch of a new four-car V8 Supercar team.
Impressive state-of-the-art facilities in Braeside will house two Jack Daniel's-backed Holden Commodores to be driven by the Kelly brothers, a Dodo-backed Holden driven by Jack Perkins and a fourth, as yet unbacked, entry to be driven by Dale Wood. The project comes with the blessing and major support of Holden, and marks a decade of involvement for the family by making Todd and Rick the only owner-drivers in the V8 Supercar series.
“We are extremely excited to have built what we have from scratch by combining ten years of family knowledge, some first class sponsorship partners and the passion and enthusiasm of the Kelly Racing employees,” Todd, who carried Jack Daniel's colours last season, commented, “Holden has been critical in the whole process and are providing significant support as we drive forward with all of our plans.
“The enthusiasm and morale around our race shop is just awesome and everyone is itching to get out on the race track. This is by far the most exciting time of my racing career and to put together what we have in a pretty short period of time is outstanding and an absolute credit to all our guys. Jack Daniel's is a fantastic company and brand to be in partnership with and to have solid support from Dodo for Jack is very pleasing this early in our development.”
Brother Rick, who raced for the HSV squad in 2008, believes the new concept is going to be a significant change for his career and one he cannot wait to tackle head-on.
“This is something very different from what I have been used to and it brings me to a new chapter in my career,” he said, “I am looking forward to being able to have more input and involvement in the day-to-day operations as well as race weekends.
“I think everyone involved in this programme over the last few months has learnt a lot about teamwork and if the passion being shown behind the doors at Kelly Racing is any indication, then I think we are going to be competitive.”
The Jack Daniel's Racing Holdens will hit the track at Winton tomorrow [Tuesday] for a initial shakedown, before all four Kelly Racing entries return for an official V8 Supercar test day on Monday 9 March. Todd will drive the #7 Commodore, while Rick will have the familiar #15 on the side of his black-and-white machine when they make their race debuts at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide in three weeks' time..
A common team and naming rights sponsor means that the Kelly brothers will not only have a major presence on track all season, but will also combine to form one of the strongest driver pairings for the annual endurance events at Phillip Island and Bathurst. Holden Motorsport boss Simon McNamara reckons that Kelly Racing will give the marque's fans plenty to cheer about throughout the year.