Bathurst 1000: Kelly brothers to drive restored Chevrolet

TODD AND RICK KELLY DRIVE TO BATHURST IN RESTORED 1953 CHEVROLET Brothers Todd and Rick Kelly have continued their own Bathurst tradition -- and that of so many other Australians -- by driving to Bathurst this year ahead of this weekend's ...

TODD AND RICK KELLY DRIVE TO BATHURST IN RESTORED 1953 CHEVROLET

Brothers Todd and Rick Kelly have continued their own Bathurst tradition -- and that of so many other Australians -- by driving to Bathurst this year ahead of this weekend's Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.

The Jack Daniel's Racing team-mates departed Kelly Racing's Melbourne headquarters this morning in their spectacular matt-black, V8-powered 1953 Chevrolet, travelling north to Bathurst in New South Wales for this year's all-important Bathurst event.

Todd and Rick themselves applied the finishing touches to the eye-catching ride in their hometown of Mildura recently.

The drive continues a tradition for the Kelly brothers and Jack Daniel's Racing endurance driver Nathan Pretty in driving to Bathurst every year, just as so many fans from around Australia do each October.

The trio are also bringing British sportscar driver Ben Collins along for the ride, keen to show the Jack Daniel's Racing recruit and Bathurst rookie the Australian outback along the way.

The Kelly brothers will race together at Bathurst for the second time this October aboard the #7 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore, having finished second by less than a second in 2006 in their only previous Mount Panorama start paired together.

Dual Bathurst winner Rick Kelly says that their traditional drive to Bathurst is a ritual they aim to preserve for many years to come, always seeking to 'do things differently' at the same time.

"Todd, Nathan and I all used to drive to Bathurst together in an old motorhome and we used to call it the 'happy camper'," said Rick Kelly.

"Ever since then, we have formed a tradition of driving to Bathurst each year. After the motorhome we did up a combi van, we drove up in a Hummer once, we bought an old Kingswood and towed a caravan one year and now it's snowballed into something that's a lot of fun.

"We've always driven to Bathurst and we've always tried to do it in something different. We've had this '53 Chev for a while so we thought we would pull it out, finish it off and give it a drive.

"Next year, we will try to do something even bigger and better again.

"It's something we look forward to every year and a lot of the fans get right into it. They always ask what we are driving to Bathurst this year and they enjoy a few of us drivers doing something a little bit different and also doing something that so many of the fans do themselves, driving to Bathurst each year.

"It's great that the fans enjoy it and we definitely have a great time doing it as well. We'll also get to show Ben a few things along the way, which should be a bit of fun."

Collins hails from Bristol in England and includes driving as a stunt double for actor Daniel Craig behind the wheel of James Bond's Aston Martin in the 'Quantum of Solace' Bond film on his impressive racing CV.

The Brit admits to being both apprehensive and excited about the drive to Bathurst in the 'black beast' after hearing some tall tales from his three team-mates in recent weeks regarding past Bathurst adventures.

"I'm a bit scared about driving up to Bathurst really," joked Ben Collins.

"But I'm also looking forward to it and what I've seen of Bathurst so far has been amazing.

"It's going to be a brilliant experience and doing it with the right guys at Jack Daniel's Racing, with Nathan as my team-mate and the Kelly brothers guiding me, is a great thing for me.

"Todd and Rick love extreme machines and they've got some great things that they love working on themselves. They're both awesome guys and a lot of fun to be around.

"I'm definitely looking forward to seeing the Australian outback. I'm not sure what stories I'm supposed to believe. I don't know if we take a kangaroo with us or what goes on out there once we're out of the city.

"It should be great to get out in the middle of nowhere and see what the real Australia is like and I'm sure it's going to be a great trip."

-credit: kellyracing.com.au

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Ben Collins , Nathan Pretty , Rick Kelly