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Owen Kelly set for Montreal Grand-Am

Speedcafe.com

Friday 5th August, 2011 - 12:01am

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Owen Kelly

Owen Kelly

Jack Daniel’s Racing endurance driver Owen Kelly will make his second Grand-Am Sportscar Series start later this month at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Canada..

Kelly will partner Boris Said aboard Marsh Racing’s #31 Whelen Engineering Corvette in the GT class for the August 19-20 event, replacing usual driver Eric Curran.

It will be Kelly’s second Grand-Am start, having raced alongside Said, fellow Aussie Paul Morris and American Tom Nastasi in a Ford Mustang GT at the Daytona 24 Hour in 2009.

The opportunity coincides with Kelly’s role as ‘super-sub’ for fellow Tasmanian Marcos Ambrose at Montreal, with Kelly confirmed to pilot Ambrose’s NASCAR Nationwide Series entry in practice and qualifying at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve while Ambrose concentrates on Sprint Cup commitments with Richard Petty Motorsports at Michigan International Speedway.

CLICK HERE for Speedcafe.com’s story in June on Kelly’s substitute role for Ambrose at Montreal

Kelly says that the call-up was a pleasant surprise and works in well with existing plans to assist Ambrose.

“I’ve got a good ally in Boris over there from when I drove with him previously,” Kelly told Speedcafe.com.

The Whelan Corvette

The Whelan Corvette

“He’s flying the flag for me. He rang out of blue because he knew I’d be there at Montreal doing the Marcos thing in Nationwide practice and qualifying.

“He asked if I wanted to help out and to this drive in Grand-Am alongside him – and of course I jumped at it.

“Boris said it’s a really good car to drive so I’m quite excited about it. He qualified on the front row at its last race and led laps until they had mechanical dramas.

“It’s a really good opportunity and a chance to get some more race miles before jumping in with Rick (Kelly) at Phillip Island as well.”

The Montreal event is Round 11 of the 2011 Grand Am season. The sports car series will also support the NASCAR Sprint Cup/Nationwide double-header a week earlier at Watkins Glen.

Chip Ganassi Racing pair Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas currently lead the Daytona Prototype standings, while Brumos Racing Porsche pair Andrew Davis and Leh Keen show the way in GT.

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