Todd Kelly Chalks Up 150 V8 Starts In Adelaide
Jack Daniel's Racing driver Todd Kelly will start his 150th V8 Supercars Championship event at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide, South Australia this weekend.
The 2005 Bathurst 1000 winner becomes the 16th driver to reach the milestone, coming at the venue where he won the Saturday race in 2007 and finished runner-up to brother Rick Kelly the following day.
Todd Kelly was the fastest of Kelly Racing's four Commodores in both qualifying sessions at the season's opening event in Abu Dhabi last month, but the 31-year-old was unable to build on his 10th place finish in Race 1 after becoming an innocent victim of a lap one crash in Race 2.
Rick Kelly was pleased with improvements to his #15 Jack Daniel's Commodore at the team's second test day of the season at Winton Motor Raceway last Monday.
The younger of the Kelly brothers is determined to revisit the podium at the Adelaide parklands street circuit this weekend at what he describes at the most prestigious single-driver event on the V8 Supercars calendar.
Jack Daniel'S Racing Quoteboard:
RICK KELLY - #15 Holden Commodore
"The Clipsal 500 is the most prestigious single driver event in our championship without a doubt, and second only to Bathurst overall," said Rick Kelly.
"To win Clipsal a few years back was an unbelievable feeling. It's such a massive event and such a tough race to conquer.
"It's such a tough race that it is a real 'driver' race. You can have a great car but if you are not fit enough to last the distance you will not win, and even the slightest mistake can end your day.
"And on the other side of the coin, if your car is not 100 percent perfect you can still man-handle it around and drag it up to the front.
"Our whole team has worked hard on fitness over summer so I think we are in a good position there. Hopefully that shows in our results and our pace, especially in the second half of both races.
"Adelaide is just a massive event and seeing that huge crowd lining the pit straight gives you a massive buzz as a driver.
"It's the toughest event we do so preparation in all areas is crucial. We had a very positive test day last Monday at Winton and I was pleased with the improvements we made to my Jack Daniel's Commodore so I'm looking forward to the weekend."
TODD KELLY - #7 Holden Commodore
Q & A with Todd Kelly ahead of his 150th V8 Supercars event
QUESTION: Milestones like this tend to creep up on you. What comes into your head when you realise that you are entering your 150th V8 Supercars event?
"I'm only just starting to figure it out and get my head around it," said Todd Kelly.
"I've had a lot of races in a lot of different scenarios. As a Young Lion getting into it, then with the Kmart team, then the factory team and now our own team and Jack Daniel's Racing, so over the 150 starts I've been fortunate enough to have a little bit of everything.
"It's been good but I'm not really fussed about the number. I seriously feel that we are starting to get our head around a lot of things, like the way the cars have to be set-up now and how you have to drive them.
"I feel like there is a fair bit left in me. Another 150 or so would be nice."
QUESTION: Is your involvement with the technical side of things a big motivator for you at the moment?
"Yeah that's what it's all about. That's what makes the car go fast, all that engineering and then being able to drive it.
"We've got some really good engineers in the team now and I'm really enjoying that side of it. To go to a test day and put theory into practice and make improvements is probably the most enjoyable part of what we do."
QUESTION: Some drivers can tell you every statistic they have to their name while others don't really keep track of it. Which one are you?
"I don't really worry about it. Obviously the only reason we do this is to be successful so when I've had race wins, pole positions and things like that I obviously remember.
"But once those boxes are ticked and you get a pole or a win, a lot of people will hang their hat off that for six months where for me that's fallen out the other end of my brain by the next morning and I turn to working on how to do it again.
"So I'm 99 percent looking forwards, and not really one that's into looking backwards just yet."
QUESTION: Both you and Rick started your careers at a young age. So you are not that old but have still amassed a lot of starts as well as some great achievements. Does it surprise you when you see your name mentioned with some of the greats of the sport in the record books?
"Yeah it does. A lot of the time we've been lucky to be in good teams, but at the same time to get statistics these days like they used to in the old days is bloody hard. I remember when you could have a bad round and you would be fifth. These days if you have a bad round and you don't quite nail the car set-up you are 25th.
"To win a race is harder than I've ever seen it and you can see by the caliber of guys that are consistently in that space between 10th and 15th trying to crack a top 10 that to keep clocking up the poles and race wins is a lot harder than it used to be."
-source: kelly racing