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Kelly Racing to step away from TCR after Ford Supercars switch

Tom Howard

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Thursday 19th December, 2019 - 2:01pm

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The Astras Kelly Racing ran this year are on the market for 2020

Kelly Racing is set to sit out next year’s TCR Australia series now it has committed to running Ford Mustangs in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.

The Braeside squad had been running a pair of Opel Astras and two Subaru WRXs in the inaugural season of the two litre touring car platform.

Towards the end of the season it had offloaded its Subarus to Milldun Motorsport but ran the Astras, rebadged as Holdens, for all seven rounds.

Andre Heimgartner scored a best result of fourth at the wheel of the #777 Astra at The Bend season finale last month.

However, the squad has now entered into a partnership with Ford Performance as part of its two car Ford Mustang Supercars program, which has prompted the call not to run the Astras in 2020.

The two cars it had leased, which underwent extensive work at Kelly Racing to fix several teething issues during the season, are now on the market gathering interest from prospective TCR entrants.

Team co-owner Todd Kelly admitted it is unfortunate his team can no longer continue with the Astras but would be keen to return to TCR with a Ford product should one become available.  

“We can’t really do that (TCR Australia) with Holden unfortunately, so, if there was a good factory supported Ford option, we’d be straight in there,” Kelly told Speedcafe.com.

“But at the moment that really doesn’t exist. 

“It’s probably not the right thing for us to do just move over to Ford and then on our spare weekends run Holdens, so, we won’t attempt that.

“Given that we sorted all of the teething problems through the year with wiring loom and engine maps and all sorts of things, they were actually quite good for the last few rounds. 

“They’ve gone through that process and they’re right to go, which is a little bit of a shame that we can’t get the benefits out of all the work we did with those. 

“But, there’s a few people that are quite interested in those cars for next year, which is good.”

Kelly Racing is currently working flat out to prepare its two Mustang Supercars for Rick Kelly and Heimgartner to race in the 2020 Supercars Championship that begins at the Superloop Adelaide 500 from February 20-23. 

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