KGR on Bathurst wildcard: ‘Nothing is off the table’

Kelly Grove Racing regulars Andre Heimgartner and David Reynolds

Kelly Grove Racing co-owners Todd Kelly and Stephen Grove are not ruling out fielding a wildcard Mustang in the Repco Bathurst 1000 this year.

The Braeside organisation will run Andre Heimgartner/Earl Bamber and David Reynolds/Luke Youlden in its usual entries at Mount Panorama in October.

Confirmation of a new chassis currently being built for Heimgartner means they will have a third race-ready Ford Supercar available to use.

One wildcard has already been confirmed for the Great Race in Broc Feeney/Russell Ingall for Triple Eight Race Engineering, and there is serious talk that Boost Mobile could underpin another for Richie Stanaway/Greg Murphy.

It’s understood keen discussions have taken place internally at KGR, with internationally based Porsche factory driver Matt Campbell floated as a potential candidate to jump behind the wheel.

The Australian made his Bathurst 1000 debut with Kelly Racing in its Nissan days in 2016, and his schedule could possibly allow for a visit Down Under at the appropriate time.

Rick Kelly has cut laps for KGR at various ride and test days since retiring from full-time driving last year and could be another option; having actively searched for a seat in vain. Co-owners Todd Kelly and Brenton Grove also have not too distant Supercars experience.

“We’ll have all the gear, and if the right opportunity presents itself, nothing is off the table,” Todd Kelly told Speedcafe.com.

“It would have to be something pretty decent to do it.

“We can do it easily with all the gear we’ve got. As long as the new car comes together it won’t be a problem.

“There’s no point putting all that extra work on everyone for not a good reason.”

Grove Snr echoed those sentiments to Speedcafe.com: “At this stage, there’s nothing that is confirmed that we will run a wildcard.

“We certainly wouldn’t rule it out because we definitely will have three cars and to go from two to three is something we can do.

“We’ve got a lot of infrastructure with Grove Motorsport as well, trucks and people and resources, so it wouldn’t be a huge issue to roll out a third car.

“But at this stage, commercially we haven’t put anything on paper.”

The first year of the Kelly/Grove partnership has brought with it instant success, Reynolds taking a podium at Sandown in March and Heimgartner claiming his first race win at The Bend earlier this month.

The 2021 Bathurst 1000 will be held across October 7-10.

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