Band of brothers: Kelly Racing timeline

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 26/07/2021
  • By James Pavey

The Kelly Racing journey will end at the end of the 2021 season following news the Grove Group has bought the remaining stake in the team.

It ends a journey which began as a four-car Holden attack in 2009, which became an historic Nissan-backed squad in 2013.

From 2020, the team has operated under a two-car Ford Mustang model, and has already hit the winners’ list in 2021.

Supercars.com has listed the key milestones in the famous family-operated team’s history.

March 2, 2009: Kelly Racing launched

John and Margaret Kelly established a four-car team; two cars sourced from the defunct HSV Dealer Team, the other two sourced from Perkins Motorsport. Rick and Todd were confirmed as teammates, joined by Dale Wood and Jack Perkins.

March 21, 2009: Double top 10 on debut

Todd finished seventh ahead of Rick in 10th in the 2009 season-opening race on the streets of Adelaide. Rick backed it up with another top 10 on Sunday en route to eighth overall.

November 8, 2009: Rick’s Island double

It took until the 12th round of the year for a Kelly car to feature on the podium. Rick was third on Saturday and second on Sunday behind dual winner Jamie Whincup.

May 16, 2010: Team’s first pole

Rick took the team's first-ever pole position at Winton Motor Raceway ahead of Whincup and Paul Dumbrell. He finished fourth behind winner James Courtney.

16 April, 2011: Rick leads Todd in Hamilton breakthrough

It was a stunning one-three result in the first race in Hamilton, with Rick leading Todd in a stunning maiden win for the team.

The younger brother added wins at Hidden Valley and Sandown to finish sixth overall.

February 9, 2012: Nissan deal confirmed

Nissan confirmed it would enter the championship in 2013 with Kelly Racing in an announcement at Melbourne's Crown Casino.

It made Nissan the first manufacturer to confirm its entry into the sport under the new for 2013 Car of the Future regulations.

October 30, 2012: Kelly Altima unveiled

The team later unveiled the Nissan Altima V8 Supercar, which was the first all-new nameplate to join the championship in two decades.

It coincided with the Altima nameplate going on sale in Australia.

August 24, 2013: Moffat leads Caruso in Nissan one-two at Winton

Son of four-time Australian Touring Car Champion Allan Moffat, James Moffat won the team’s first race under its Nissan guise.

Moffat took the lead from teammate Michael Caruso to become the 11th different race winner of the 2013 season.

October 12, 2014: Moffat and Douglas reach Bathurst podium

Moffat and Taz Douglas combined to finish second in an enthralling Bathurst 1000, despite the duo finding the Turn 2 tyre barriers more than once.

June 18, 2016: Caruso wins in Darwin

Seven years after he won in Darwin for Garry Rogers Motorsport, Caruso took the team’s second Nissan win at Hidden Valley.

November 21, 2017: Todd announces retirement

The elder Kelly, who made his Supercars debut in the 1998 Sandown 500, called it a day ahead of the 2017 season finale. He was 18th overall in his final season.

May 15, 2018: Nissan and Kellys part ways

Nissan Australia announced it would end its Supercars involvement after the 2018 season.

Nissan did not renew its deal with Kelly Racing, which expired at the end of the season. The team continued with a four-car Nissan programme in 2019.

May 19, 2018: Rick's emotional win

Just days after Nissan’s exit, Rick took an emotional victory, the last of his career and last under the team’s Nissan guise, at Winton.

Kelly defeated Scott Pye and Shane van Gisbergen in the thrilling race.

October 15, 2019: Kellys to run Mustangs

The team announced a deal with Ford from 2020, and also confirmed it would downscale to two cars. Rick and Andre Heimgartner were confirmed as drivers.

October 26, 2020: Rick announces retirement

The younger brother announced an immediate end to a 19-year stint as a full-time Supercars driver after the 2020 season ended in Bathurst.

Kelly’s full-time Supercars career began in 2002; he won Bathurst twice and the drivers’ title in 2006.

January 14, 2021: Groves buy into Kelly Racing

Earlier this year, it was confirmed the Grove Group had bought into the Braeside team, with David Reynolds later confirmed as Kelly’s replacement.

May 8, 2021: Heimgartner wins at The Bend

It took nine races for the renamed Kelly Grove Racing outfit to strike gold, with Heimgartner driving from pole to victory in Tailem Bend.

July 26, 2021: Groves buy remaining stake

Midway through the ongoing season, it was confirmed the Grove Group had bought the remaining stake in the team, with the Kellys departing.

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