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Crash puts Kelly Super2 debut in doubt

MASON Kelly’s debut appearance in the Dunlop Super2 Series is in doubt following a heavy crash during opening practice at the Thrifty Bathurst 500.

Unseen by television cameras, Kelly struck the wall at Sulman Park with the right-side of his Kelly Racing-run Ford Mustang.

Although the 18-year-old is unhurt, Mason’s father Todd Kelly says damage to the car is likely to rule the youngster out of the weekend.

“The steering was binding up on him and it made him run a bit wide,” Todd Kelly told V8 Sleuth.

“Right at the grate (at Sulman Park) it was jamming. It just got him a foot wide when it’s jammed, and he was gone after that.

“The thing is toast. I think (he’s out for the weekend). We’ll have a proper look once we strip it, but I don’t know if we’ve got that kind of gear here to fix it. It’s not ideal.”

The Mustang being returned to the Super2 paddock. Pic: an1images.com

Kelly Jr has stepped up to Super2 this year with the family-run outfit following a season aboard a Kelly Racing Nissan Altima in Super3.

“He’s pretty upset,” Kelly added of his son, whose best time of 2:09.9549s left him 15th out of the 24 runners in the session.

“The amount of work he’s put in to get to here and then have that happen after the first practice, he’s a bit beside himself over that and disappointing all the sponsors that have got him here.

“It would be great if I can get it fixed for him but it’s not looking good. We’ll know in a couple of hours.”

Kelly Racing is fielding two Super2 cars this season, with TCR racer Aaron Cameron in a second full-time entry following a partial season in 2023.

Kelly wasn’t the only driver to strike trouble in Practice 1, with fellow debutant Reuben Goodall coming unstuck at the Cutting.

Gomersall Motorsport is in the process of assessing the damage to the #20 ZB Commodore.

Meanwhile, AIM Motorsport had a double drama, with Zane Morse and James Masterton’s opening sessions affected.

“(Morse) basically had a brush of the wall on the right-hand side out of the Grate, just before McPhillamy, he just got up on the kerb a bit too hard and that hit has obviously done the damage to the right-rear,” AIM team principal Adam DeBorre told V8 Sleuth.

“We’re still trying to understand what has caused the left-front incident (that forced him to park on the side of Conrod Straight), so we will review video.

“But where we are at the moment with the car is all about repairing it, not diagnosing what’s brought the issue. So, suspension damage left-front, suspension damage right-rear.

The Zane Morse Mustang. Pic: Nathan Wong

“Our goal is obviously to try to get the car turned around for the next session but the positive thing we have got is we still finished comfortably in the top 10 with three laps only in practice. A lot of cars behind us would be happy to do that, so really proud of that.

“And James’ car, that’s had a mechanical issue with a tripod. It obviously did the whole test day without an issue; we come here and now we have got an issue.”

Super2 Practice 2 starts at 3:25pm AEDT.

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