Kelly brothers to walk away from Supercars team ownership

Todd and Rick Kelly have agreed to sell their remaining 50 per cent stake in the Kelly Grove Racing Supercars team to the Grove Group.

David Reynolds, Kelly Grove Racing  

Having sold half of the team to the Stephen and Brenton Grove earlier this year, it has today been revealed that the remaining stake will now also change hands.

That will give the Groves full control of KGR, which will be rebranded as Grove Racing as of next season.

According to the announcement, the Kelly Racing business will retain the machine shop, engine departments and the team's current Ford Mustangs.

It's expected that Todd Kelly will step down from the team boss role, but will continue to operate Kelly Racing as a technical partner with Grove Racing.

KGR started out as a four-car Holden team set up ahead of the 2009 season using two Racing Entitlements Contracts owned by the Kelly family, and another two from Perkins Engineering.

The team continued to run Holdens for Todd, the 2005 Bathurst 1000 winner, and 2003-04 Bathurst winner Rick, along with a rotation of other team-mates until the end of 2012 when the Kellys struck a deal to become the factory Nissan team in Supercars.

At that point, the Perkins-owned RECs were formally handed over to what was re-branded as Nissan Motorsport.

The Kellys developed the Supercars-spec Altima and a Nissan V8 race engine based on an SUV powerplant and enjoyed factory backing until the end of the 2018 season.

Todd Kelly, Nissan Motorsports

Todd Kelly, Nissan Motorsports

Photo by: Daniel Kalisz / Motorsport Images

By then Todd had already retired to focus on the team boss role, KR continuing with the four Altimas for a single season as a privateer outfit before striking a deal with Ford to switch to Mustangs for 2020.

That coincided with a scaling back to two cars, 2006 series champion Rick teaming up with Andre Heimgartner for that 2020 season before he made a shock decision to retire at the end of the campaign - being replaced by former Erebus driver David Reynolds.

"Racing has been our life since Rick and I were around eight years old," said Todd Kelly.

"We have been very fortunate to have been part of the premier category in the country for such a long period. Being part of such an intense business is something that I will genuinely miss. But now is the time to hand over the reins to Stephen and Brenton Grove.

"Over the years, we have done an incredible amount of engineering and manufacturing work initially with the Holdens then the design and production of the Nissan Altima and Nissan VK50 quad-cam Supercar engine and then again with the conversion to Mustang.

"We have always had pride in doing everything in house ourselves and doing the best possible job of designing and producing our equipment."

"Although we have achieved quite a lot through sheer hard work, the biggest challenge we have had over the years has been the resources to take it to the big teams. I’m genuinely excited to watch the team grow with the firepower and resources of the Groves behind it.

Todd Kelly, Stephen Grove and Brenton Grove

Todd Kelly, Stephen Grove and Brenton Grove

Photo by: Kelly Racing

"Kelly Racing will retain full ownership of the team CNC machine shop, the engine department and all production departments as well as the current Mustangs. I will still be working hard in the background in 2022 to continue maintaining and developing the current package for the team."

Rick Kelly added: "I’m excited for what the future holds for the Team as the Groves take it into the future.

”I have appreciated working with such a great bunch of guys and girls, building many great working relationships and friendships along the way. I want to thank each and every team member, both current and those who have worked with us along the way, for their efforts and dedication shown towards Todd, myself, and our team.

"I’m very grateful for my time in Supercars, both as a driver and team owner. Through this time, I had the chance to be a part of many great things both on the track and off, and have learnt so much which I believe will position me well in attacking future projects in other industries.

“I’d like to thank our fans and supporters for being a part of the journey with us, and I look forward to continuing that relationship and sharing my future ventures and projects."

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