Todd Kelly is keen to sample one of his squad’s new Ford Mustangs but has hosed down any prospects of making a competitive return as a co-driver next year.
Switching manufacturers after seven seasons has provided the squad with plenty of work to do in the off season to prepare cars for Rick Kelly and Andre Heimgartner.
Todd Kelly is heavily involved in the process just as he was when the team took on the task of constructing the Altimas.
However, back then he was still racing and able to help from both an engineering and driving side.
With the arrival of the Mustang, Kelly’s hands on approach is set to continue despite having retired from full-time Supercars racing at the end of 2017.
Although keen to sample the Mustang, the 40-year-old says it is unlikely he would race the car next year.
“It’s funny, that thought (of driving or racing a Mustang) has crossed my mind,” said Kelly.
“Being heavily involved in the engine side of it and designing manifolds and working out where to put the throttle body in the injector position for power and driveability, doing all those things and not being able to feel it on the track is a little bit strange.
“I’ve always had that luxury over the years to be involved in the design of something and then actually feel it and know what it needs to achieve or what needs to be changed.
“So I’d consider jumping in the car when we launch them at our first shakedown just to feel what we’ve achieved and, you know, I’ve done all the exhaust system testing and everything already trying to get the power curve right for driveability and what we need on the track.
“But I don’t think I’ll be jumping in for any races – but I’d certainly love to see what a Mustang feels like.”
While Todd has put the brakes on any racing return younger brother and team co-owner Rick Kelly would be keen to partner up for a race in the future.
The 2006 Supercars champion, however, believes it would be beneficial for Todd to have a steer of the Mustang before the 2020 season kicks off.
“It’s always something that we would both like to do,” said Rick Kelly.
“It’s just a matter of if it’s something that we wanted to do and also, you know, his role in the team now, is a critical one as well.
“He puts a lot of focus on that and (has) done a great job with that as well, and that’s now something that is important to the whole team to have in there, in that role now more than the driver.
“But yeah, it would be great to see him at the test day jump in the Mustang.
“There’s obviously a lot that has gone into that project to have to whole team, but in particular in the engine.
“So it would be good to bring him to see some of the rewards of that from a driving point of view.”
At the moment the team has one incomplete spare chassis which is being converted over to a Mustang, and one brand-new Car of the Future chassis in the build.
Kelly Racing is also undertaking its own in-house engine program which has seen its design team working on forging new components in order to fire up its first engine this month.
The team is producing a series of videos tracking the build of its Mustangs. Click here for the latest episode.