DAVID REYNOLDS TO DRIVE STRATCO COMMODORE FOR KELLY RACING IN 2011
Kelly Racing has today made one of the most significant announcements in its short history by signing talented young driver David Reynolds for 2011.
Reynolds will drive the team's #16 Stratco Commodore, with the Adelaide-based company also confirming today that it has re-signed its major sponsorship with Kelly Racing for next season.
The announcement was made in Stratco's hometown as Reynolds and new team-mate and Kelly Racing team co-owner Rick Kelly gave driver tuition to a group of Adelaide Thunderbirds netballers.
Thunderbirds players Erin Bell, Emily Beaton, Jo Sutton and Sharni Layton received tuition from the pair aboard their new Holden Barina Sparks in the carpark of the Thunderbirds home court, Adelaide's ETSA Park, with the Thunderbirds also sponsored by Stratco.
Rick Kelly believes the signing of Reynolds is a significant step forward for Kelly Racing, which was launched in March 2009 and enters its third season next year.
"Our entire team is excited to have Dave onboard to drive our #16 Stratco Commodore," said Rick Kelly.
"He is going to be a great asset to our team. He is the sort of driver that you can put straight in your car and not worry about him because you know he will do a good job.
"Even in his first year back in 2009 he rarely made mistakes and he has always done a solid job.
"For us this represents a big step up for next year. We needed a driver that can push the other drivers in the team very hard.
"I think we can teach David a lot and turn him into a championship-winning driver and I think David can teach us some things as well, especially in an area like fitness and training, where he is one of the best in the entire category.
"I think he was very unlucky in his first year in V8 Supercars not to win a race and some of his qualifying and race results, especially towards the end of the 2009 season, showed his capability.
"He will help us deliver a lot of firsts next year, like our first race win and our first race with all four cars in the top 10. All those things will be achievable with David onboard."
Kelly also acknowledged the ongoing support of Stratco, which will continue again in 2011.
"It was great to bring Stratco into the sport this year and they have been a great partner of ours in 2010," said Kelly.
"We are really pleased that they have enjoyed all aspects of their involvement with us so far and have loved to see their brand out there racing on the track.
"David will be a fantastic ambassador for their brand and company and I'm confident he will get the Stratco Commodore towards the front of the field and get them some great exposure."
Team co-owner Todd Kelly rates Reynolds talents highly and says that he will help Kelly Racing be a strong outfit as a whole in 2011.
"We have rated David highly for a long time now so we're extremely pleased to have him onboard to drive our Stratco Commodore," said Todd Kelly.
"I remember following him in the Saturday race at Barbagallo in 2009 when he was running second until he had a tyre go flat. Clearly, towards the end of that season, he was a consistent top 10 driver and challenging for podiums.
"We have hired David for one reason - he is a very quick and capable driver. We expect that there will be days that he is the fastest driver in our team and having a young, fast and hungry driver like him will push everyone else along."
Reynolds was excited to sign with Kelly Racing and rejoin the V8 Supercars Championship as a full-time driver, having made his full-time debut in 2009 with Walkinshaw Racing's #24 Commodore.
"It's great to be joining Kelly Racing to drive the #16 Stratco Commodore and to be back in a full-time drive," said Reynolds.
"I've been working hard all year to get to this point. I don't want to have to watch any more V8 Supercar races on television.
"Already I can tell that there is a great atmosphere at Kelly Racing. The entire team is very easy going but at the same time extremely determined to win.
"I think I will work well in this environment and I hope we can all enjoy success together.
"I've known Todd and Rick for many years and worked with them before. Now they have their own operation I'm very happy to be a part of it."
Reynolds admits that he has worked hard during 2010 to ensure he returns to V8 Supercars as a better driver both mentally and physically.
"I feel that I'm better mentally now that I have had a year off to think about it," said Reynolds.
"Everything happens so quickly in your first season in the main game. The races are longer than you're used to and as a young driver you can be burnt out by mid-year.
"I have really concentrated on my fitness this year so that I'm stronger for 2011. I'm not racing in New Zealand this summer so that I can concentrate completely on our plans for 2011 with the Stratco Commodore.
"I'm also looking forward to getting to know everyone at Stratco and working with them. The day today with the girls from the Adelaide Thunderbirds has been very fun so we are off to a good start."
Shane Jones, National Marketing Manager for Stratco, welcomed the addition of Reynolds to the Kelly Racing line-up.
"2011 will be our second year involved with Kelly Racing and we are very pleased to have David Reynolds driving the Stratco Commodore," said Jones.
"Everyone at Stratco has really enjoyed working with Todd, Rick, Tony Ricciardello and the entire team at Kelly Racing this year, both at events and away from the race track.
"We are pleased to re-sign with Kelly Racing and to announce our new deal in Adelaide where Stratco was founded over 60 years ago.
"Having David come onboard for next season is exciting news and we look forward to having a bigger and better year in 2011."
Reynolds will drive Kelly Racing chassis PE048 in 2011, the car that Rick Kelly has driven for the past two seasons and finished third on Saturday at the Sydney Telstra 500 last weekend.
Reynolds will have his first test of the car next week at Winton Motor Raceway, where Rick Kelly will also debut his brand new chassis, KR-02.
DAVID REYNOLDS - DRIVER BIOGRAPHY:
David Reynolds is one of the brightest rising stars in Australian motorsport.
Born and raised in Albury, New South Wales, the 25-year-old has been a front-runner in every category he has tried his hand at, from his early days in karting and Formula Ford as well as in Carrera Cup and Fujitsu V8 Supercars Series.
Reynolds won the prestigious Australian Formula Ford Championship in 2004, then claiming a second Australian Championship by winning the Porsche Carrera Cup in 2007. He also finished fourth in the 2008 Fujitsu V8 Supercars Series.
Reynolds graduated to the top-level V8 Supercars Championship in 2009, finishing the season in 22nd position in the series standings, the highest-placed first year driver.
He then spent 2010 on the sidelines, concentrating on endurance event duties as Co-Driver to Will Davison at Phillip Island and Bathurst as well as partnering Fabian Coulthard on the Gold Coast.
Reynolds showed impressive form by qualifying ninth at Phillip Island and playing a starring role in the #22 Commodore's form at Mount Panorama, where the car was running third in the final stint until crashing out in the hands of Davison with only a few laps remaining.
Born: 3 July 1985
Hometown: Albury, New South Wales
Lives: Melbourne, Victoria
Hobbies: Tennis, Running, Fitness, Cycling, Music, Cars
2004 CHAMPION - Australian Formula Ford Championship
2007 CHAMPION - Australian Porsche Carrera Cup
-source: kelly racing