The new Kelly Racing operation gave its four-car line-up a successful maiden outing as Jack Daniel's Racing drivers Todd and Rick Kelly, and team-mates Jack Perkins and Dale Wood, completed a day of testing at Winton Motor Raceway.
The two Kelly brothers reported no major problems on either of the distinctive black machines, which each finished the day in the top half of the field. Wood and Perkins propped up the times on their first outing with the Kelly team in what was effectively a shakedown for their Holden Commodores.
Rick Kelly finished the day in fifth place on the timesheets in the #15 Jack Daniel's machine, with Todd eighth, after a full day of testing and set-up work. Both cars had previously completed limited laps on a shakedown session afforded to new cars last Tuesday at Winton, with Monday's test marking the official debut of the Kelly quartet.
“We had a pretty full programme to get through today,'' former series champion Rick confirmed, ''We got everything achieved that we wanted to do. It's been a pretty full on few months for everyone in the team, so overall today was pretty pleasing to get through with a pretty solid day's work.”
The four-car Kelly outfit also used the test to say a big 'thank you' to hard-working team members, with the names of 42 staff adorning the red interim testing livery on Wood's #16 Holden. The car's sponsors were happy to allow the team to run with the sign of appreciation, with major backing and a new livery for the entry due to be unveiled at the opening round of the series in Adelaide in two weeks time.
“Our crew has continually gone above and beyond the call of duty over the summer, ensuring everything is in place for this first official test of the season,” Rick Kelly said, “In a short amount of time as a group, we have opened a brand new facility in Braeside, built two brand new Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodores and have five complete V8 Supercars in the shop looking superb and ready for the season ahead.
“As our team's signwriters are also drivers - with myself, Jack and Dale doing all of the sticker work - it was a good way for us to do something extra for the team as a token of our appreciation for everything they have done.”
“This is a very special time for everyone involved in Kelly Racing,” brother Todd agreed, “It's a proud day to roll out two brand new Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodores and be on the verge of the first event for Kelly Racing in Adelaide, but it was also important to acknowledge what an amazing group of staff we have here and show each and every one of them just how much we appreciate all of their efforts.
“The images we get of Dale's #16 car will be around for many years to come and be a sign of all the hard work that has gone into this race team over the past few months.”