Roll call: Kelly Grove Racing's driver history

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 18/01/2021
  • By James Pavey

Kelly Grove Racing's 13th championship season will begin with a revamped driving line-up, with David Reynolds returning alongside Andre Heimgartner.

The team, which downsized to two Ford Mustangs ahead of the 2020 season, welcomes back former Erebus Motorsport ace Reynolds in the Penrite Oil-backed #26 entry.

Reynolds drove for the Kellys back in 2011, steering the Stratco-backed #16 Commodore when the team ran four Holden entries.

The team had already made big changes prior to the Reynolds announcement, with the Grove Group investing into the Braeside operation.

To date, the Kelly squad has employed 18 full-time drivers and 29 co-drivers, and has competed with three different manufacturers.

The 2021 Repco Supercars Championship will be the first season since 1998 that neither Kelly brother will compete full-time.

Season 2001 was Todd Kelly's first full-time season in the category, although he had previously raced in 1999 and 2000.

His maiden season featured a Bathurst podium and a round win at Sandown en route to sixth in the championship.

Younger brother Rick Kelly, who retired from full-time competition at the end of the 2020 season, made his full-time debut as a teenager in 2002 for the Holden Young Lions. Four years later, he was a series champion with the HSV Dealer Team.

Kelly Racing was born out of a split with Walkinshaw Performance at the end of 2008. For 2009, a four-car team featured both Kelly brothers driving in the same team for the first time.

In 2009, the Kelly brothers were joined by Jack Perkins in a Dodo-backed entry, with Dale Wood and Mark McNally driving half-seasons.

The team's first race was the 2009 Clipsal 500, with Perkins and Wood suffering separate crashes.

The Jack Daniels-backed Kelly brothers teamed up for Bathurst, finishing eighth despite running second late on.

Rick's fourth places at Winton and Hidden Valley were the team's best results of the season.

Jason Bargwanna and Tony Ricciardello joined the team in 2010, with Rick taking the team's first pole position at Winton.

However, Rick's podium in the rain-affected first race of the Sydney 500 was the team's only rostrum visit of the season.

Greg Murphy and Reynolds joined for 2011, with Rick scoring the team's first victory in Hamilton, with Todd completing the podium in third.

Rick won two further races, in Darwin and Sandown, to finish sixth in the championship.

Reynolds' return to the category featured numerous top 10 qualifying efforts and two top five race results, but he placed 19th, six places behind Murphy, who claimed a surprise pole at Bathurst.

There, the team also ran the wildcard Shannons-Mars Racing Commodore, with Grant Denyer and Cameron Waters sharing the car.

Reynolds left for Ford Performance Racing in 2012, with Tim Blanchard joining the Kelly gang.

Injuries sustained by Murphy following a crash in Adelaide saw David Russell and 1997 Formula 1 champion Jacques Villeneuve substitute in the #51 Pepsi Max entry.

The 2012 season began with the announcement that the team would switch to Nissan for 2013, making Kelly Racing the first team to change manufacturers for the Car of the Future regulations.

Larry Perkins' two RECs were purchased for the third and fourth entries, with Michael Caruso and James Moffat recruited to drive Norton-backed entries.

The team had an unchanged driver line-up between 2013 and 2015, with Norton backing the Caruso and Moffat cars to 2014.

Moffat won the team's first race for Nissan at Winton in 2013, with Caruso completing a one-two finish on the weekend the squad was trialling a revised blend fuel in the lead-up to the endurance races.

Moffat and Taz Douglas also combined for second in the 2014 Bathurst 1000, despite the latter crashing early in the race. It remains the team's best finish at the mountain.

Wood returned after Moffat left for Garry Rogers Motorsport in 2016. Caruso won a race in Darwin, having led the championship after the opening round in Adelaide.

The team also ran a fifth entry in the Bathurst 1000, with Renee Gracie and Simona de Silvestro driving the #360 Harvey Norman Supergirls Altima, placing 14th.

The pioneering De Silvestro replaced Wood from 2017, and remained with the team until the end of 2019. A year earlier, Todd retired and was replaced by Heimgartner.

The most recent win for the team was clinched by the younger Kelly at Winton in 2018, in the days after Nissan announced it had terminated its sponsorship.

The Kelly Racing moniker returned in 2019 following the Nissan's departure, but the team continued to race Altimas. Garry Jacobson replaced Caruso for the 2019 season.

In 2020, Ford came onboard as the team scaled back to two cars, having sold its two RECs to Team 18 and Matt Stone Racing.

Reynolds' return marks a 'back to the future' scenario, although the team is aiming even higher following the Grove investment.

The Kelly Racing roll call

Full-timers

Todd Kelly (2009-17)
Rick Kelly (2009-20)
Jack Perkins (2009)
Dale Wood (2009-10, 2016, 2019)
Mark McNally (2009)
Tony Ricciardello (2009-10)
Jason Bargwanna (2010)
Greg Murphy (2011-12)
David Reynolds (2011, 2021-present)
David Russell (2011-17)
Tim Blanchard (2011-12)
Karl Reindler (2012-13)
Jacques Villeneuve (2012)
Michael Caruso (2013-18)
James Moffat (2013-15)
Simona de Silvestro (2016-19)
Andre Heimgartner (2018-present)
Garry Jacobson (2018-19)

Co-drivers

Nathan Pretty (2009)
Ben Collins (2009)
Glenn Seton (2010)
Owen Kelly (2010-12)
Taz Douglas (2010, 2013-15)
Scott Dixon (2010)
Alex Tagliani (2010-11)
Allan Simonsen (2011)
Richard Westbrook (2011)
Oliver Gavin (2011)
Jorg Bergmeister (2011)
Cameron Waters (2011)
Grant Denyer (2011)
Daniel Gaunt (2012-13)
Marco Andretti (2012)
Franck Montagny (2012)
Graham Rahal (2012)
Justin Wilson (2012)
Alex Buncombe (2014-15)
Dean Fiore (2014-19)
Matt Campbell (2016)
Russell Ingall (2016)
Renee Gracie (2016)
David Wall (2017)
Jack Le Brocq (2017)
Aaren Russell (2018)
Alex Rullo (2018-19)
Bryce Fullwood (2019)
Dylan O'Keeffe (2020)

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