Kellys kick off annual Bathurst road trip

Speedcafe.com

Monday 6th October, 2014 - 5:00am

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Rick and Todd Kelly with the Bluebird

Rick and Todd Kelly with the Bluebird

Brothers Todd and Rick Kelly have continued Nissan Motorsport’s Bluebird retro theme for their annual Bathurst road trip.

The Melbourne-based pair are driving to the event in one of six Nissan Bluebird TRXs built by Nissan Australia as promotional vehicles in 1982.

Nissan Motorsport is also running one of its four Altimas, the #36 entry of Michael Caruso/Dean Fiore, in retro Bluebird colours in this year’s race.

The 800km road trip, which starts today and will see the duo arrive at the Mount Panorama Circuit on Tuesday morning, is the 11th in succession for the Kellys.

While the Kellys are not the only drivers to travel to the event by car, the brothers make a point of choosing unique machinery – and costumes – for the occasion.

We’ve done a lot of cool things in motorsport, but one of the coolest things is to do our once a year road trip,” said Todd Kelly.

We get to dress up, we’ve done lots of different themes, and this is another cool one from the 80s.

The Bluebird is one of the more comfortable cars that we’ve ever taken, so we’re looking forward to the trip.

It always allows us the time to get in the right frame of mind for the journey.”

Todd and Rick Kelly are both former winners of the Bathurst 1000 having enjoyed success while driving Walkinshaw Racing Holdens.

This weekend marks 10 years since Rick’s second win alongside Greg Murphy, while Todd, who turns 35 on the Thursday of this year’s event, enjoyed a single triumph in 2005 with Mark Skaife.

Both have endured rough runs at the Mountain over recent years, with neither recording a top 10 finish since 2009, which was the last occasion in which the rules allowed full-time drivers to pair up.

Todd is this year teamed with British Bathurst rookie Alex Buncombe and Rick with David Russell, who partnered Todd in 2013.

VIDEO: Nissan Motorsport has produced the following clip ahead of the road trip