Rick Kelly has retired as a full-time Supercars driver.
Kelly joined the series as a regular in 2002, winning the Bathurst 1000 the next two years partnered with Kiwi Greg Murphy.
Over 19 seasons in the championship, Kelly claimed 13 race wins and 56 podium finishes. However, the highlight of his career was winning the 2006 driver’s title with the HSV Dealer Team.
“I feel like I have had a very solid hussle in Supercars for 19 years as a main driver and 20 years for the endures,” said Kelly.
“It is certainly going to be a little bit different because I am giving up something, I have worked my entire life towards.
“I have certainly enjoyed it and it has provided me with the opportunity to work with some unbelievable people.”
Kelly said he retires from the sport full-time knowing he gave it “all his best.”
“It hasn’t been the fairy-tale ending that I would love to have gone out with, but I have to step off the merry-go-round at some point and I personally feel that the right time is now.
“Whilst as a driver you always want to win, and externally your on-track results hold the biggest influence on your report card, and as you’d expect from any athlete, I’ll leave wanting more.
“But one thing’s for sure, I will step away satisfied with having always given my best and never giving in, no matter how far back we were.”
Kelly has been driving under the Kelly racing moniker since 2018 – a team owned by his brother Todd.
This year saw them take the switch from Nissan to Mustang, downsizing from a four-car to a two-car outfit.
Kelly claimed three sixth-placed positions this season en route to 16th in the standings.
“I am excited to see what the entire team put together for next year,” he added.
“They are certainly starting to build a lot of momentum with the work that Todd and entire team have done.
“For me I will be sitting back but certainly missing it a little bit. But I am excited to see what they can deliver in the future.”
“Well done to Rick on an outstanding career,” said Todd Kelly. “He has had a big impact on the sport during his time as a driver and has not only had success on the track but been a leader in both fan and sponsor engagement,”
“Rick has also been a fantastic mentor to Andre and other young drivers with his approach to his role as a driver. It’s going to be quite different not having Rick driving full time, however everyone at Kelly Racing wishes Rick all the best with his future and congratulates him on a successful career in Supercars.”
No news has been made on who will replace Kelly for 2021