After Nissan withdrew from Supercars at the end of the 2018 season, Kelly Racing continued to run the Nissan Altima this year while they looked for a replacement. In October, that replacement was announced: Kelly Racing confirming they will switch to the Ford Mustang for 2020.
Partnering with Ford and Ford Performance, Kelly Racing will join DJR Team Penske (Shell V-Power Racing), 23Red Racing (Milwaukee Racing) and Tickford Racing (The Bottle-O Racing Team, Monster Energy Racing, Supercheap Auto Racing) in running Mustangs next year.
The team will also downsize from four cars to two, with the driver lineup likely to consist of Rick Kelly and Andre Heimgartner, leaving Garry Jacobsen and Simona de Silvestro out of a drive. The Nissan Altimas campaigned this year will be run by Kelly Racing in next year’s Super2 Series.
“We’re so glad to have Kelly Racing bringing two additional Mustang Supercars to the grid, giving our fans more great news on the back of a fantastic 2019 season so far,” said Kay Hart, President and CEO, Ford Australia and New Zealand. “Having more Mustangs racing next season is a reflection of the team’s hard work and the success of the program so far.”
Kelly Racing Team Principal, Todd Kelly, sees the change as a positive move: “As Kelly Racing complete its 11th season in Supercars, we’re really looking forward to partnering with Ford as we start a new chapter. Stepping in to a Mustang, we’re choosing a proven race winner, so we’re confident that together we can achieve great things.”
In almost seven years with Nissan, Kelly Racing secured 13 podiums, including a runner-up result at Bathurst in 2014, but only three race wins.
Kelly Racing’s switch means that next year’s Supercars grid will once again be a Holden vs Ford affair – the last time that happened was 2012.