Kelly: ‘Now is the time to hand over the reins’

Stephen Grove (left), Brenton Grove, Andre Heimgartner, and Todd Kelly

Outgoing Kelly Grove Racing team principal Todd Kelly admits now is the right time to hand over control of his race team.

Todd has been part of the furniture at Supercars since 1999, first as a driver and then as a team owner with the formation of Kelly Racing in 2009.

He would drive for the team in its first campaign before retiring from full-time competition eight years later at the end of 2017.

Now, Todd is set to step away from the category entirely, he and brother Rick handing over their 50 percent stake in the team to the Grove Group.

That will see Stephen Grove take over from the eldest of the Kelly brothers as the team principal.

“Racing has been our life since Rick and I were around eight years old,” said Todd.

“We have been very fortunate to have been part of the premier category in the country for such a long period.

“Being part of such an intense business is something that I will genuinely miss. But now is the time to hand over the reins to Stephen and Brenton Grove.”

Since its inception in 2009, the team has gone through three major overhauls.

After beginning as a Holden team running the VE Commodore, the Braeside team would gain support from Nissan in 2013 to become the factory team with Car of the Future.

As Nissan Motorsport, that relationship would last until the end of 2018, although the team would continue running the Nissan Altima as Kelly Racing through to the close of 2019.

Come 2020, they gained backing from Ford and transitioned to the new Mustang.

Todd said he was proud of his team’s efforts.

“Over the years, we have done an incredible amount of engineering and manufacturing work initially with the Holdens then the design and production of the Nissan Altima and Nissan VK50 quad-cam Supercar engine and then again with the conversion to Mustang,” he said.

“We have always had pride in doing everything in house ourselves and doing the best possible job of designing and producing our equipment.

“Although we have achieved quite a lot through sheer hard work, the biggest challenge we have had over the years has been the resources to take it to the big teams.

“I’m genuinely excited to watch the team grow with the firepower and resources of the Groves behind it.

“Kelly Racing will retain full ownership of the team CNC machine shop, the engine department and all production departments as well as the current Mustangs.

“I will still be working hard in the background in 2022 to continue maintaining and developing the current package for the team.”

After retiring from full-time driving duties at the end of 2020, brother Rick has taken a back seat in the day-to-day running of Kelly Grove Racing.

The stake in the team represented Rick’s remaining link to the championship, given his absence from the Supercars grid this year as a co-driver.

“I’m excited for what the future holds for the team as the Grove’s take it into the future,” said Rick.

“I have appreciated working with such a great bunch of guys and girls, building many great working relationships and friendships along the way.

“I want to thank each and every team member, both current and those who have worked with us along the way, for their efforts and dedication shown towards Todd, myself, and our team.

“I’m very grateful for my time in Supercars, both as a driver and team owner. Through this time, I had the chance to be a part of many great things both on the track and off, and have learnt so much which I believe will position me well in attacking future projects in other industries.”

“I’d like to thank our fans and supporters for being a part of the journey with us, and I look forward to continuing that relationship and sharing my future ventures and projects.”

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