The phone will be running hot at Kelly Racing tomorrow following the news that Rick Kelly is done with full-time Supercars.
His departure from the driving seat in the Castrol Mustang opens a big opportunity for someone in 2021 alongside the fast improving Andre Heimgartner.
It also gives time to reflect on a career that includes two Bathurst 1000 victories and a Supercars championship for the younger of the two talented brothers from Mildura.
Rick Kelly followed Todd into the junior development ranks at the Holden Racing Team, and scored big successes with the factory team and its K-Mart and HSV spin-off, before joining the family team when John and Margaret Kelly set up Kelly Racing – firstly with Holdens, then Nissans and now Fords.
The 37-year old has not confirmed his motorsport future but, despite a lacklustre season by his standards, should continue as an endurance co-driver next year.
“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,” Kelly said.
“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.”
He paid tribute to everyone at Kelly Racing, led by his big brother.
“I’d like that thank the Team at Kelly Racing, and also congratulate each and every team member for what they have been able to deliver this year. It’s been nothing short of impressive.”
Although he has been an integral part of the family team from the beginning, he is not making any commitments to a management role in Supercars.
“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.”