Next-generation Kelly to make Supercars debut in Newcastle

Mason Kelly

Mason Kelly

Mason Kelly will make his Super3 debut at next week’s Thrifty Newcastle 500 in what marks the return of Kelly Racing to the Supercars arena.

The 18-year-old will contest this year’s Dunlop Super3 Series in a Nissan Altima which father Todd got behind the wheel of during his time in the Supercars Championship.

In fact, it was that very same Altima, codenamed KR 007, which Todd drove in his final event before hanging up the helmet at the inaugural Newcastle 500 in 2017.

The 2005 Bathurst 1000 winner will act as team manager and mentor for son Mason throughout the 2023 Super3 season, in what has turned out to be a short spell out of Supercars following Grove Racing’s full acquisition of Kelly Racing.

“I wasn’t expecting to get back into Supercars so quickly,” said Todd Kelly.

“It was a short-lived retirement from pit lane, but I definitely have a good reason for it.

“Mason has progressed well in his racing. He really impressed us with his level headed attitude all the way through his racing so far.

“We have everything we need to give Mason a good shot at it. The infrastructure from the old Kelly Racing is all there to run a Super3 team, and with the help of some good friends, we are just going to get him out there and see how we go.

“Personally, it’s very exciting. My little guy is making his Supercars debut. I remember making my Supercars debut. It’s a big moment, and we know that he is ready for this next step.”

Mason has cut his teeth in karting, Hyundai Excels, and other state-level competition.

Mason and Todd Kelly

Mason and Todd Kelly

He has also driven KR 007 in the National Sports Sedans field but lining up on the grid in Newcastle, where his Altima will sport major backing from GTS Freight Management, will be something different again.

“I’ve done a few races in a Marc car and a few test days in the Altima, but to make a race start on the Super3 grid will definitely be a new experience,” said Mason Kelly.

“I’m really looking forward to it, but I’m not going into Newcastle with any expectations. My focus is to finish all the sessions, improve as the weekend goes along and bring the car back with no damage.

“Because we haven’t been to Newcastle for a few years, I don’t think many people on the Super2 or Super3 grid will have been to the track before. You could expect some carnage over the weekend, but I just want to stay out of trouble.

“It’s weird how it worked out – same car and same event as dad’s last Supercars race. I was there for that race and I’m glad he is going to be looking over my shoulder for my first race.

“I’m incredibly grateful for our friends and sponsors who have come on board to make it possible. It’s going to be a great experience.”

The Super2/Super3 field will take in a pair of 21-lap races in Newcastle, where opening practice takes place on Friday, March 10.

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