Kelly Racing Adelaide preview

Todd Kelly will start his 150th V8 Supercars Championship event at the Clipsal 500 this weekend

#11 Pepsi Max: Greg Murphy
#11 Pepsi Max: Greg Murphy

Photo by: Chris Von Wieldt

- Greg Murphy will carry signage supporting the New Zealand Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Appeal at the Clipsal 500. All V8 Supercars will carry the silver fern as a message of support for the people of Christchurch this weekend, but the Kiwi V8 legend will go one step further with a windscreen banner on his #11 Pepsi Max Holden Commodore promoting donations to the NZ Red Cross. Murphy has also donated one of his prized race helmets and a hot lap in his Pepsi Max Crew V8 Supercar to the cause.

- David Reynolds enters the Clipsal 500 in fifth place in the 2011 Driver Standings following an outstanding debut event for Kelly Racing aboard the #16 Stratco Commodore in Abu Dhabi. Reynolds will be keen to impress in Adelaide, the home city of Stratco, and along with Rick Kelly is also the star of the hardware retailer and building supplies manufacturer's latest TV advertising campaign.

- All four Kelly Racing Commodores tested at Winton Motor Raceway in Victoria on March 7th in preparation for the Clipsal 500. Drivers and engineers reported solid progress from the day, which was held in warm and sunny conditions.

- Todd Kelly will start his 150th V8 Supercars Championship event at the Clipsal 500 this weekend. Kelly, 31, becomes the 16th driver to reach the milestone as well as the youngest. Since his debut in 1999, Todd has won 19 races, scored 26 podiums and earned six pole positions in a career highlighted by victory alongside Mark Skaife in the 2005 Bathurst 1000.

- The Kelly brothers dominated the 2007 Clipsal 500 with Todd and Rick Kelly taking a win each. Todd won the Saturday race as Rick finished in fourth. On Sunday it was Rick who took victory with Todd just behind in second place. Rick Kelly also has a previous pole position at the Clipsal 500, setting the fastest time in the Top 10 Shootout in 2005.

- Pepsi Max Crew driver Greg Murphy has two pole positions at the Clipsal 500, topping qualifying in 2001 and 2004, both results coming with the Kmart Racing Team.

- In the lead-up to this weekend's Clipsal 500 Kelly Racing drivers Todd Kelly, Rick Kelly and Greg Murphy were honoured with cement casts of their hands to be displayed on Hutt Street adjacent to the Adelaide Parklands street circuit. The hands of the three drivers will be displayed alongside those of F1 greats such as Michael Schumacher, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna and Gerhard Berger. The Adelaide circuit hosted a round of the F1 World Championship from 1985 to 1995. Watch interviews with the three at http://bit.ly/KRAdelaideHands

- Todd and Rick Kelly have become ambassadors for Telstra driver safety campaign 'M8 IT CAN W8'. Research results have prompted Telstra to launch the national push to discourage drivers from the dangerous practice of texting behind the wheel. For the full story visit http://bit.ly/JDRM8itcanW8

KELLY RACING QUOTEBOARD:

GREG MURPHY - #11 Pepsi Max Holden Commodore

On the Clipsal 500...

"Clipsal is a sensational event and it shows our sport off in the best possible way," said Murphy.

"The massive crowd gets to see V8 Supercar racing at its toughest. For the drivers this is a tough, bumpy street circuit with two long races. It definitely takes it out of you.

"We made improvements to our Pepsi Max Commodore at our test day at Winton last week and as a team we continue to work really closely across all four cars to make sure everyone is continually creeping up on it and getting more and more speed.

"Adelaide is a tough race so while we are chasing more pace we also need to keep one eye on the two long races and make sure we have a strong car that will be there to fight all the way to the finish."

On the Christchurch earthquake...

"The effects of the Christchurch earthquake have been terrible and my thoughts continue to be with all those touched by this disaster," said Greg Murphy.

"Coming so soon after the shocking natural disasters in Australia, it is impossible not to be moved by the appalling devastation, no matter what side of the Tasman you hail from. As the dust still settles we need to help the victims of this tragedy by making a donation.

"The V8 Supercars community has its fair share of Kiwi members and as a sport we have close, strong ties to New Zealand, so over the coming weeks we will be doing our bit to help Christchurch's cause."

DAVID REYNOLDS - #16 Stratco Holden Commodore

"The Stratco staff keep reminding me that Adelaide is the company's home race so I'm very keen to perform well at the Clipsal 500," said Reynolds.

"We enter that event fifth in the championship after Abu Dhabi so our goal is really to stay up there on the points ladder and keep that momentum going.

"We tested at Winton on Monday and it was a very, very positive day. Just about everything we tried improved the car.

"We can definitely improve on our pace from Abu Dhabi and the entire team has been working hard to do just that.

"I honestly can't wait for Clipsal. It's such a tough race that it's easy to dread it but I am probably as excited as I've ever been for an event.

"It's a tough track that's rough, bumpy, tight and twisty. To top if off, Turn 8 is just about the world's toughest corner because it's so fast and there is zero room for error.

"So mentally it is very hard but my fitness is up and we go to Adelaide in a great frame of mind so I'm keen to get there and hit the track for Friday practice."

RICK KELLY - #15 Jack Daniel's 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 Jack Daniel's 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

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Gerhard Berger , Alain Prost , Greg Murphy , Rick Kelly , Mark Skaife , Todd Kelly , David Reynolds
Tags ausv8ss, kelly racing