Rick Kelly retires from racing Supercars

Rick Kelly has announced his retirement from full-time Supercars racing.

Rick Kelly retires from racing Supercars

The 37-year-old has been a Supercars regular since 2002, starting out with Holden's Young Lions programme and the Walkinshaw-run K-Mart Racing Team, before he and brother Todd set up the standalone Kelly Racing squad in 2009.

He's been a KR driver ever since, racing Holdens, factory-backed Nissans and, as of this year, a Ford Mustang along the way.

During his full-time career Kelly has racked up two Bathurst 1000 victories, 13 race wins in total, 57 podiums and was crowned the 2006 Supercars champion.

“While the 2020 season draws to a close so does my full-time Supercars driving career," said Kelly.

"Firstly, I have really loved the opportunity to drive the Castrol-backed Ford Mustang in its first year with Kelly Racing. There were many challenges put forward in 2020 with COVID and the Mustang programme in its infancy at Kelly Racing, which both have made on track results tough at times.

"It hasn’t been the fairy-tale ending that I would love to have gone out with, but I have to step off the merry-go-round at some point and I personally feel that the right time is now.

“Whilst as a driver you always want to win, and externally your on-track results hold the biggest influence on your report card, and as you’d expect from any athlete, I’ll leave wanting more.

"But one thing’s for sure, I will step away satisfied with having always having given my best and never giving in, no matter how far back we were.

“I have had a solid hustle over the past 20 years in motorsport, never really sitting still. So as far as what the future holds for me personally, as I step away from Kelly Racing, I’ll firstly take some time to reflect on my decision and then go about planning a solid attack on the next chapter of my life, whatever that might be.”

Todd Kelly added: “Well done to Rick on an outstanding career. He has had a big impact on the sport during his time as a driver and has not only had success on the track but been a leader in both fan and sponsor engagement.

“Rick has also been a fantastic mentor to Andre [Heimgartner] and other young drivers with his approach to his role as a driver.

"It’s going to be quite different not having Rick driving full time, however everyone at Kelly Racing wishes Rick all the best with his future and congratulates him on a successful career in Supercars.”

The announcement specifically references a step back from "full-time Supercars driving commitments", leaving the door well ajar for Kelly to slot into an endurance role at either KR or elsewhere.

As for KR seat, there are a number of potential suitors as a turbulent silly season continues to play out.

Race winner Fabian Coulthard is now on the market after being told he won't be part of the new-look Dick Johnson Racing outfit, which is expected to field cars for Anton De Pasquale and Will Davison.

Brodie Kostecki is another driver looking for a main game drive, while the potential wildcard to the silly season is David Reynolds, whose future at Erebus Motorsport is subject to much speculation – despite his 10-year deal with the squad.

Both Coulthard and Reynolds have also been linked to Brad Jones Racing, which will require a restructure due to the Blanchard family-owned Racing Entitlement Contract, which had been underpinning Macauley Jones' entry, on the move.

shares
comments

Related video

Power wants Bathurst 1000 shot with McLaughlin
Previous article

Power wants Bathurst 1000 shot with McLaughlin

Next article

Super2 season declared, Randle champion

Super2 season declared, Randle champion
Load comments
Why Courtney and Tickford are a dream match Prime

Why Courtney and Tickford are a dream match

James Courtney has been around the block in his motorsport career it's fair to say. After a single-seater career cut short, he's won everything there is to win in Supercars. Following a rocky ride recently in the Australian category, he's found a happy hunting ground with Tickford Racing.

Supercars
Oct 21, 2021
How taming his temper shaped Supercars' slow-burn star Prime

How taming his temper shaped Supercars' slow-burn star

His decision to leave Brad Jones Racing was the biggest shock of the Australian Supercars silly season so far. But for Nick Percat, it comes as the culmination of a personal journey that has made him into one of the most rounded drivers in the series, now in search of a seat that can make him a champion

Supercars
Sep 17, 2021
Why replacing Supercars' GOAT with a teenager is worth the risk for T8 Prime

Why replacing Supercars' GOAT with a teenager is worth the risk for T8

On the face of it, picking an 18-year-old rookie to replace arguably the greatest Supercars driver of all time is a risky move. But as Jamie Whincup takes up a team principal role and hands his car to Broc Feeney, it's one that he is confident will be rewarded in the fullness of time - time which wasn't afforded to Whincup in his early days

Supercars
Sep 1, 2021
How Randle went from fighting cancer to battling for Supercars contention Prime

How Randle went from fighting cancer to battling for Supercars contention

After his fledgling career was paused by a battle with testicular cancer, Thomas Randle then had to wrestle with finding a drive in Supercars after he got the all-clear. It's been a long road for the Melbourne native but, after two lengthy battles, he's finally got a full-time drive to look forward to

Supercars
Jun 29, 2021
How crisis talks over Supercars’ Gen3 future could leave it without a paddle Prime

How crisis talks over Supercars’ Gen3 future could leave it without a paddle

With Supercars’ Gen3 era on the horizon, a shift is set to take place – in more ways than one – but, as has become clear in recent weeks, the plan to bin the stick and use paddles with electronic assisted shift has been met with fierce opposition

Supercars
May 24, 2021
Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske? Prime

Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske?

Roger Penske's whirlwind Australian Supercars sojourn is over. After six seasons, three drivers' titles, three teams' championships and a Bathurst 1000 crown, The Captain has sold his controlling stake in Dick Johnson Racing back to the squad and walked away from the category.

Supercars
Feb 26, 2021
Can Whincup be Triple Eight's ruthless leader? Prime

Can Whincup be Triple Eight's ruthless leader?

Supercars' most successful team of the past 15 years is set for a radical shakeup next year when Jamie Whincup retires from driving and takes over the reins at Triple Eight. But does he have what it takes to be the new Roland Dane?

Supercars
Feb 8, 2021
How a lifetime Supercars deal broke down in one year Prime

How a lifetime Supercars deal broke down in one year

David Reynolds inked what was effectively a lifetime deal with Erebus in 2019 – only to walk out a year later. What went wrong?

Supercars
Dec 18, 2020