Monday, Oct 21 07:53pm
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

Rick Kelly confirms he’ll race Ford Mustang next year

Rick Kelly has confirmed he’ll be behind the wheel of a Ford Mustang in next year’s Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.

Kelly Racing will switch from the four-door Nissan Altima to the all-conquering two-door Ford Mustang next year.

It means just one seat remains at the Kelly Racing operation after they confirmed they’ll downsize from four cars to two next year.

Currently, the team have a surplus of drivers with Garry Jacobson, Simona De Silvestro and Andre Heimgarter, who is the best placed of them all.

“Obviously we have got Castrol on my car; we announced I think a multi-year agreement at the start of this year so myself and Castrol will be continuing next year,” Kelly said on RPM.

“We hope to make an announcement on the second car full-time driver in about three or four weeks.

“We have got some fantastic options within our team and externally.

“Our aim at Kelly Racing has always been to help nurture young talent and get the drivers in there that can do the job.

“So some difficult decisions need to be made there but like I say, we’re looking at the future and how we can position ourselves best to be competitive on the track.”

While Heimgartner has been the best of the four cars this season - currently 15th and one place ahead of Kelly who lies 16th - a seat is no guaranteed at the team.

“Obviously we all want to go out there and win races,” Kelly said.

“That’s the priority for me, to get ourselves into a position firstly as a team where we have got a very competitive car, and then go and do the job on the track.

“I still feel that I can do that when the opportunity is there and at the moment it’s about creating that opportunity and going out there and achieving it.

“Andre, the teammate in our garage this year, has been obviously very strong and that’s been able to push me further.

“We’ve had great relationships with other drivers, Michael Caruso, my brother Todd, that’s had those inner-team rivalries that has pushed each other further and further. So that’s what we’re certainly aiming to do.

“I’m not sure how long I can assist the team and deliver results for but in the short-term, I think that’s there and I have got the support of the team and Castrol to go out there and do that. So next year that will be a big focus to achieve that and see what happens beyond then.”