Nissan Motorsport (Australia)
|Team Principal||John and Margaret Kelly|
|Team Manager||Matthew House (#7 and #15)
Barry Ryan (#36 and #360)
|Race Drivers||Jack Daniel's Racing
7. Todd Kelly
15. Rick Kelly
Norton 360 Racing
36. Michael Caruso
360. James Moffat
|2013 position||JDR: 7th (2,958 points)
Norton: 9th (2,711 points)
- For the Australian team previously known as Nissan Motorsport, refer to Gibson Motor Sport.
Nissan Motorsport (known from 2009 to 2012 as Kelly Racing), is a team competing in the Australian V8 Supercar series. The team, owned by John and Margaret Kelly, made its debut in 2009, and raced Holden Commodores until the end of the 2012 season. Starting in 2013, the team switched to competing with Nissan Altimas, and changed its name to Nissan Motorsport. The team has been based out of Melbourne since its foundation.
For points-scoring purposes, the team is divided into two separate entries: "Jack Daniel's Racing", which is made up of car #7, driven by 2005 Bathurst 1000 winner Todd Kelly; and car #15, driven by his brother, 2006 V8 Supercar series champion Rick Kelly. The second entry is known as "Norton 360 Racing", and is made up of car #36, which is driven by Michael Caruso, who was recruited to the team for 2013 after five seasons with Garry Rogers Motorsport; and car #360, driven by James Moffat, who also joined the team in 2013, moving from Dick Johnson Racing.
Despite some initial hurdles, the team was formed in 2009, launching officially on the evening of 2 March 2009, after several months of preparation. The two sons of the owners, Rick and Todd act as lead drivers for 2009, with sponsorship from Jack Daniel's. Jack Perkins, with sponsorship from Dodo Internet, and Dale Wood (though later replaced by Mark McNally), with sponsorship from Hi-Tec Oils and Red Rooster, were confirmed as drivers of the third and fourth Kelly Racing entries.
After a troubled relationship with Tom Walkinshaw, with whom they formed the HSV Dealer Team, team principals John and Margaret Kelly took their two V8 Supercar team licences - numbers #15 and #16 - to set up Kelly Racing, forcing Walkinshaw to find other licences to run his second team in the championship.
With a decision by Holden to reduce support for most teams running their Commodore product in the series for 2009, along with the impending economic crisis, racing legend Larry Perkins chose to scale back his involvement in the sport through his Perkins Engineering team at the end of 2008. His two team licences - numbers #7 and #11 - will be used by Kelly Racing to form a four-car team. Ironically, through the effective merger of the Perkins Engineering team and the new Kelly Racing, Perkins indirectly maintained support from Holden through the new arrangements.
The Kelly's and Perkins swapped one of their racing numbers between themselves so that the Kelly owned licences could make use of the #7 racing number, to suit major sponsor Jack Daniel's and their "Old Number 7" brand. This sponsorship had been carried over from Perkins Engineering, where Todd Kelly was previously using the #7 racing number on behalf of Jack Daniels. This is similar to the relationship that NASCAR team, Richard Childress Racing has with Jack Daniels, and their car driven by Casey Mears, which uses racing number #07.
The new team had its track debut at Winton Raceway on 3 March 2009, running the allowed 20-lap shakedown test for newly constructed cars in the V8 Supercar category, which was declared a success by both Todd and Rick. Following this initial shakedown, the team appeared at the official category test day at the same circuit on 9 March 2009, where all four cars appeared. At the test day, with the sponsorship of the Dale Wood car still to be confirmed, the #16 car ran an interim testing livery, thanking the team for getting all four cars ready for the season in two months.
The team's first race was the 2009 Clipsal 500, held from March 19–22. The two Kelly brothers finished in the top ten in the first race, Todd in 7th and Rick in 10th, after starting 24th and 17th respectively. Wood, who did not set a qualifying time after a crash in practice, finished 14th after starting from pitlane. Perkins failed to finish due to badly damaged steering caused by brushing the wall. Rick was the only one of the four drivers to finish the second race, again in 10th place. Todd Kelly and Jack Perkins both inflicted steering damage from contact with other cars while Dale Wood spun into the wall. The team left the weekend with Rick Kelly 8th in the championship standings, Todd Kelly in 16th, Dale Wood in 24th and Jack Perkins in 30th. Todd made the following comment on the team's first weekend: "Getting an event under our belt, we've now got pages and pages of things we need to address and improve on. This is our first race as a brand new team so given that, I think the weekend wasn't too bad."
Todd and Rick achieved numerous top ten results as the season went on, the best being Rick's 4th places at Winton and Hidden Valley, while Perkins and Wood struggled. Wood was replaced by Mark McNally from the Townsville round onwards. Former World Superbike champion Troy Bayliss tested with the team in August but nothing came of this, with Bayliss driving with Dean Fiore and Triple F Racing in the endurance races.
Todd and Rick teamed up in the #7 car for the endurances races at Phillip Island and Bathurst with Nathan Pretty and Ben Collins driving the #15 car. Dale Wood returned to the driving seat to partner Jack Perkins in the #11 car while Tony Ricciardello joined Mark McNally in the #16 car. The Kelly brothers finished fifth in the L&H 500 after Todd won one of the qualifying races. Bet 24/7 came on board as major sponsor for the #11 car before Bathurst, with Perkins and Wood running #247 for the Bathurst weekend. Todd and Rick Kelly were running in second place with only a handful of laps to go in the Bathurst 1000, but a damaged rear wing and a late safety car led to the brothers finishing in eighth place.
Perkins reverted to #11 of the remainder of the season. The team scored its first podium finish at the The Island 300, which turned out to be the first in a hat-trick of podiums for the team, with Rick finishing third and second at Phillip Island and Todd finishing second in race one at Barbagallo. The final championship standings saw Rick Kelly finish in eighth, Todd Kelly in 18th, Jack Perkins in 26th, Dale Wood in 29th and Mark McNally in 30th. Jack Daniel's Racing (#7 and #15) finished sixth in teams' championship with Kelly Racing (#11 and #16) in 13th and last of the two car teams.
On 23 November 2009, it was announced that Jason Bargwanna would be joining the team for the 2010 season with sponsorship from Rock Energy Drinks. Bargwanna was previously with Tasman Motorsport, a team which had just announced that it would close at the end of the 2009 season. Tony Ricciardello would take over the #16 car, first with Supermaxx sponsorship before Stratco became the major sponsor for the #16 car. Todd and Rick Kelly continued driving cars #7 and #15 with Jack Daniel's Sponsorship.
For the endurance races, Rick and Todd were not allowed to pair up due to new regulations regarding endurance co-drivers. Owen Kelly, of no relation to the two brothers, would join Rick in the #15 car while Dale Wood drove with Todd. Ricciardello was partnered by Taz Douglas while two-time Australian touring car champion Glenn Seton partnered Bargwanna. Rick and Owen had a strong run at the L&H 500, finishing fourth after needing to conserve fuel at the end of the race, while the other three cars all finished outside the top fifteen. The team had a disappointing Bathurst, with none of the cars finishing in the top ten, the best result 16th place for Rick and Owen.
The team hired Scott Dixon and Alex Tagliani as its international drivers for the Gold Coast 600, Dixon driving with Todd Kelly and Tagliani with Bargwanna. Owen Kelly remained with Rick and Wood moved into the #16 car with Ricciardello. It proved to be another average weekend, with Rick and Owen again providing the best result, a sixth place in race two.
The final championship standings saw Rick and Todd repeat their 2009 efforts, finishing eighth and 18th respectively. Bargwanna ended up 24th and Ricciardello was 26th. Jack Daniel's Racing was fifth in the teams' championship and Kelly Racing was 11th.
The Jack Daniel's Racing drivers remained the same for 2011, but two new drivers were hired for Kelly Racing. Greg Murphy slotted into the #11 car, the first time he hadn't used the #51 since 2000, with Pepsi Max backing. and David Reynolds drove the #16 car with continued sponsorship from Stratco after missing out on a full-time drive in 2010.
2011 was the team's most successful season to date. Rick Kelly scored the team's first race win in wet conditions at the Hamilton 400. Todd made it an extra special day by finishing in third place despite having a broken windscreen wiper. Rick won a further two races, with a win in Darwin at Hidden Valley and a win at Sandown later in the season, placing 6th in the championship. Todd for a third year straight placed 18th in the series, Reynolds impressed on his return to V8 Supercars, with numerous top ten qualifying efforts and two top five race results, eventually placing 19th. Murphy placed a respectable 13th in the Pepsi Max Holden.
For the endurance races, the team signed David Russell, Allan Simonsen, Owen Kelly and Tim Blanchard to drive with the team, with Russell joining Todd in Car #7, Simonsen joining Murphy in car #11, Owen Kelly joining Rick in #15 and Blanchard pairing up with Reynolds in #16. For the Gold Coast 600, the team signed Richard Westbrook to drive with Todd, Oliver Gavin to drive with Murphy, Jörg Bergmeister to drive with Rick and Alex Tagliani to join Reynolds. At Phillip Island, all cars finished in the top 15, with car #16 the best in 6th. At Bathurst, a fifth car was entered, the #77 Shannons-Mars Racing Commodore, with Grant Denyer and Cameron Waters driving the car. Car #11 claimed Pole position, with #16 qualifying in 4th, the Jack Daniels cars qualified in 16th and 19th, car #77 qulaified 29th and Last. Murphy and Simonsen eventually finished 11 seconds behind the winners in 3rd position, with car #16 finishing in 19th, Car #15 placing 22nd and Car #7 placing 24th, some 7 laps down on Murphy and Simonsen, the fifth car of Denyer and Waters did not finish.
2012 started with the announcement that they would switch to Nissan for 2013, on February 9, making them the first team to switch manufacturers for the new regulations. In the season was made publicly that they were focussing on the 2013 season, which hampered their results, and everyone elses' as only Team Vodafone and Ford Performance Racing won races in 2012.
Rebirth as Nissan Motorsport
Nissan Motorsport was launched on February 12 2013, with only 2 cars, but most of the finer details released at the launch. They will race 4 cars in 2013. 2 Jack Daniel's cars for Todd (7) and Rick (15) and 2 Norton-sponsored cars for Michael Caruso (36) and James Moffat (360). The numbers for the Norton cars are derived from the 'Norton 360' brand.
Todd and Rick Kelly race under the Jack Daniel's Racing banner as one half of the Kelly Racing outfit, driving cars #7 and #15. The Jack Daniel's sponsorship moved across to the team from Perkins Engineering, the team that Todd drove for in 2008. Todd and Rick Kelly have driven the Jack Daniel's cars in all years that Kelly Racing has been competing in the championship.
The second half of the four-car Kelly Racing outfit uses the Kelly Racing name and has been less successful than the other half of the team. Jack Perkins and Dale Wood were the original drivers for the team in 2009, racing cars #11 and #16 respectively, with backing from Dodo and Hi-Tec Oils. Wood was replaced by Mark McNally during the season. For 2010, Jason Bargwanna drove car #11 with backing from Rock Energy Drinks and Tony Ricciardello drove car #16 with Stratco sponsorship. Greg Murphy and Pepsi Max replaced Bargwanna and Rock Energy for 2011 while David Reynolds drove the #16 car with continued backing from Stratco.
Joe Bremner, formerly the team manager of Jack Daniel's Racing in its Perkins Engineering guise, has been named as the team manager of the Jack Daniel's Racing half of the combined Kelly Racing team, while Barry Ryan has been named as the engineer of the #7, with David Swenson filling the same role on the #15 car. Bremner has gone on record as saying he believes the team can win within its first year.
Matthew House has been named as the team manager of the Dodo Racing / Hi-Tec Oils Racing half of the combined Kelly Racing team, and while Barry Jones was initially named as the engineer of the #11 car, he was later replaced with Mike Gennery, and later still by James Small. Oscar Fiorinotto was named as the engineer of the #16 car.
Later still, following the resignation of Joe Bremner to pursue other interests, a management restructure took place, including further changes to engineering positions. Matthew House moved from the team manager position for the #11 and #16 cars, to take over the role previously filled by Bremner for the #7 and #15 cars. James Small, who had recently taken up the position of engineer for the #11 car, moved across to take over the engineering role on Todd Kelly's #7 car, with the previous engineer of this car, Barry Ryan, taking over the team manager role for the #11 and #16 cars, vacated by House. The new engineer for the #11 car was named as Stewart McDonald, who joined the team from Tasman Motorsport, which had announced it was shutting down operations at the end of 2009.
On 9 February 2012, it was announced the team will switch to the Nissan brand in 2013 under the V8 Supercar Car of the Future rules. The model of Nissan to be used was later revealed to be the 2013 Nissan Altima.
Perkins Engineering, having wound back its own involvement as a competing team in the championship at the end of 2008, maintains a presence by becoming the major engineering facility for the team. The two V8 Supercar franchises owned by Larry Perkins in turn formed the second half of the Kelly Racing team. Perkins Engineering will be responsible for heavy engineering work, particularly in the construction of racing chassis for the team. When the team was reborn as Nismo in 2013, Perkins completed the takeover and in doing so removed himself from the sport.
Current and former drivers
The following drivers have been full-time drivers for Kelly Racing:
- Todd Kelly - 2009—present
- Rick Kelly - 2009—present
- Michael Caruso - 2013
- James Moffat - 2013
- Greg Murphy - 2011—2012
- Karl Reindler - 2012
- Tim Blanchard - 2012
- David Russell - 2012
- Jacques Villeneuve - 2012
- David Reynolds - 2011
- Jason Bargwanna - 2010
- Tony Ricciardello - 2010
- Jack Perkins - 2009
- Dale Wood - 2009
- Mark McNally - 2009
- "Kelly Racing is far from a done deal". V8 Supercars Australia. 2008-11-23. Retrieved 2009-03-04.
- "Jack Daniel's teams up with Kelly Racing". Holden Motorsport. 2009-03-02. Retrieved 2009-03-03.
- "Holden re-allocates V8 Supercar funding". V8 Supercars Australia. 2009-01-21. Retrieved 2009-03-04.
- "LP to take back seat?". V8 Supercars Australia. 2008-11-23. Retrieved 2009-03-04.
- "2009 V8 Supercar Official Test Day - Victoria - Session One Results". Natsoft. 2009-03-09. Retrieved 2009-03-09.
- "2009 V8 Supercar Official Test Day - Victoria - Session Two Results". Natsoft. 2009-03-09. Retrieved 2009-03-09.
- "2009 Clipsal 500 - Race One Saturday Results". Natsoft. 2009-03-21. Unknown parameter
|acc essdate=ignored (help)
- "2009 Clipsal 500 - Combined Qualifying and Top Ten Shootout Results". Natsoft. 2009-03-20. Retrieved 2009-03-20.
- "2009 Clipsal 500 - Race Two Sunday Results". Natsoft. 2009-03-22. Unknown parameter
|acc essdate=ignored (help)
- "2009 Championship Standings after Clipsal 500". Natsoft. 2009-03-22. Retrieved 2009-03-24.
- "Bayliss for this year’s enduros?". V8 Supercars Australia. 2009-08-12. Retrieved 2009-08-13.
- "2009 Phillip Island 500 - Official Results". Natsoft. 2009-09-13. Retrieved 2009-11-21.
- "2009 Bathurst 1000 - Official Results". Natsoft. 2009-10-11. Retrieved 2009-11-21.
- "Tasman Quits V8 Racing". Tasman / Sprint Gas Racing. 2009-11-20. Retrieved 2009-11-21.
- "Murphy And Pepsi Join Forces At Kelly Racing". BigPond Sport. 2011-01-27.
- "Young gun Reynolds to return as a full-time V8 Supercars driver in 2011 with Kelly Racing". Fox Sports. 2010-12-09. Retrieved 2011-08-27.
- "Rick Kelly Wins Thrilling Hamilton Opener". BigPond Sport. 2011-04-16.
- "Jack Daniel's Racing Team Profile". V8 Supercars Australia. Retrieved 2009-03-16.
- "Kelly brothers excited for Clipsal 500". V8 Supercars Australia. 2009-03-17. Retrieved 2009-03-17.
- "Kelly Racing can win in 09". V8 Supercars Australia. 2009-03-21. Retrieved 2009-03-21.
- "Kelly Racing Team Profile". V8 Supercars Australia. Retrieved 2009-03-16.
- "Kelly Racing on debut". V8 Supercars Australia. 2009-03-17. Retrieved 2009-03-17.
- "Pay Off For Perkins". V8 Supercars Australia. 2009-11-21. Retrieved 2009-11-21.
- "Nissan To Join V8 Supercars Championship". 2012-02-09.
- "New Nissan Altima Unveiled In New York". 2012-04-05. Retrieved 2012-04-08.