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Two-car Mustang program tipped for Kelly Racing

Tom Howard

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Saturday 12th October, 2019 - 4:51pm

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Kelly Racing appears set to downsize and move to a two car Ford Mustang program in 2020

Kelly Racing is strongly tipped to off load two Racing Entitlements Contracts for 2020 as part of shake up that would see the team switch to Ford Mustangs.

Speculation regarding the future of the Braeside squad has been rife in the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 paddock ahead of next week’s deadline to confirm REC entries for next season.

There have been question marks surrounding the future make up of the four car Nissan squad for sometime.

Kelly Racing has been assessing its options for next year with its decision hinging on whether it continues to run its ageing Nissan Altima or move to Ford Mustangs.

However, Speedcafe.com understands it will scale down to a two car Mustang effort next season with two RECs poised to be transferred to rival Supercars teams.

Paddock chatter has suggested one could be heading to Matt Stone Racing as a replacement for the REC it had leased from Jason Bright, which is understood to be heading to Brad Jones Racing for Jack Smith.

Meanwhile, the other could end up with Team 18 which is known to be investigating the prospect of expanding to two cars for next year. 

Team co-owner Todd Kelly told Speedcafe.com last month that downsizing would be likely should his squad switch manufacturer, a move that has become more likely following Supercars’ decision to make drive-by-wire technology optional for next season.

Kelly was unable to confirm his team’s situation for 2020, although entries will need to be confirmed at the close of business on October 18.    

“It’s the same rumours that a have been going for a while; really what we do with the car will dictate that,” Kelly told Speedcafe.com at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.

“If we can retain our engine or a few things like that then we can almost continue business as usual, but if not it’s going to be hard to convert four cars worth of car spares and engines. That decision will impact what we do with the whole structure.

“There’s a few people that need to decide what they’re doing as well.

“The registration is imminent now so the rumours and all the chats are going to keep escalating. 

“We’ll sort all that out next week.

“The engines is probably the biggest hurdle to overcome financially.

“It’s a shame because we’ve actually got quite a good engine under the bonnet right now after six years of huge amounts of R&D and expense, our engines are pretty good.

“If we stay with Nissan that’s perfect, but if we do that then we don’t have a current car to wrap around the engine. We’re little bit snookered at the minute.”

The 2020 Supercars gird is likely to become clearer after next week’s deadline, which could also see Garry Rogers Motorsport hand back both its RECs following an ultimatum from its naming rights sponsor Boost Mobile.

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