Reynolds: Rick Kelly ‘the saviour of my life’
Saturday 16th January, 2021 - 2:00pm
Rick Kelly’s sudden retirement opened the door for David Reynolds to join Kelly Grove Racing, but it’s not the first time the Supercars champion has been a career-saver.
The 35-year-old will pilot the #26 Penrite Racing Ford Mustang, taking the reins of the car formerly driven by team co-owner Kelly.
Coincidentally, it’s the second time a significant shift in Kelly’s career has created an opportunity for Reynolds.
After one season in the Supercars feeder Super2 Series (then Fujitsu Series) where he finished fourth, Reynolds made the move to Walkinshaw Racing for 2009.
That came off the back of Kelly departing the outfit at the end of 2008 to start the four-car Kelly Racing operation with brother Todd.
“Obviously, last year both Erebus and myself made the decision not to work together anymore,” Reynolds told Speedcafe.com.
“Then Rick announced he was not going to be a part of it any longer, so that opened up a spot for me to slide into.
“But the funny thing is, Rick’s actually done that for me twice in my life. That’s the second time.
“My very first drive I ever got in 2009 at Walkinshaw Racing is because Rick Kelly left to go to Kelly Racing back then.
“Rick’s like the saviour of my life when you think about it. Mate, I love him.”
In September 2019, a landmark 10-year deal was signed between Reynolds and Erebus Motorsport.
However, that arrangement broke down little more than 12 months on.
Late last year it was announced Reynolds and the team had mutually agreed to part ways.
At the time, Reynolds had already been linked to the Kelly Grove Racing seat in the wake of Kelly’s retirement, though he was prepared for the worst.
“That could’ve been possible,” Reynolds said of the prospect of sitting out a season.
“That was always in the back of my mind, and that was the chance I was willing to take.
“As scary as it was, that was definitely a possibility, 100 percent a possibility.
“It’s not a nice thing to go into the abyss unknowing all this stuff, but eventually it all seemed to work out OK.”
Reynolds’ season with Kelly Grove Racing gets underway with the Mount Panorama 500 on February 26-28.