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Kelly brothers yet to discuss Rick's future

Andrew van Leeuwen
·3-min read

Two-time Bathurst winner Rick called time on his Supercars career, at least as a primary driver, at the end of this season.

His retirement followed an 18-year stint as a full-timer in the category, winning 13 races across stints at the K-Mart Racing Team/HSV Dealer Team and the standalone Kelly Racing outfit, established in 2009.

While he's left the door open for a co-driver role, and he retains an ownership stake in KR, Rick's future plans are still unclear.

There's even been talk he may look outside KR for a co-driver role, with links to a Tickford seat for next year's Bathurst 1000.

Speaking in a Q&A video published by KR, Todd explained that he's yet to have a proper talk with Rick about his post-driving future, as he lets his brother process the gravity of the career change.

"After what I went through trying to drive a race car as well as being a team owner and hands-on in that role, in the last three of our years we all put a lot of effort in to making sure Rick could get the most out of himself without any unnecessary distractions," said Todd Kelly.

"So we've got an amazing group of people here, plenty of staff to take on all of the roles we require as a team. We really made sure Rick could focus on [driving] and not be disadvantaged to all of his competitors.

"I haven't even sat down with Rick and had a chat about what he wants to do from here. I know, myself, when I finished driving it builds up to a massive peak, and quite an emotional one to finish off with. To have a discussion about what you're going to do next, and what your involvement might me, isn't something you need to blaze in and think about without taking time to absorb what's just happened.

"To really get my head around not being a driver was really a one and a half year process, to be content with what I'd done and move on.

"The team is going really well as it is, and it would be great if Rick could compliment that in any way. If he just wants to float in and out as a friend, that's cool too.

"He's had a really good, long, successful career as a driver and he needs to let that thing sort itself out and work out where he wants to be.

"In the end, as brothers, Rick is a co-owner of the race team. So he won't be dropping off the face of the earth. He'll be a part of the team, for sure."

Todd retired from full-time driving at the end of 2017, slotting immediately into the team boss role without even returning as a co-driver.

Rick's retirement leaves KR with just one confirmed driver for the 2021 season, Andre Heimgartner locked in for a fourth campaign with the Melbourne-based squad.

There have been persistent rumours linking David Reynolds to the squad, despite him being contracted to Erebus Motorsport for another nine years.