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First Kelly Racing-built winner set for comeback

THE first winning Supercar built by Kelly Racing will rejoin the Kumho V8 Touring Car Series this weekend.

KR-02 will line up at Queensland Raceway with Brendan Strong behind the wheel.

Strong has raced the Holden VE Commodore semi-regularly since 2018, first in the Kumho Series of old and then Super3 which it transformed into for some time.

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The Queenslander missed the opening two rounds of the reborn V8TC but appears on a 10-car entry list for Ipswich.

As its name suggests, KR-02 was the second Commodore Supercar fully assembled by Kelly Racing.

Debuting in the hands of Rick Kelly at the 2011 season-opener, a year after Todd Kelly first raced KR-01, it won two races.

While Rick Kelly delivered the family team’s maiden victory at the 2011 Hamilton 400, that success came in PE 047 (built by Perkins Engineering) after KR-02 was involved in a crash with Craig Lowndes at the non-championship Albert Park round.

It didn’t have to wait long to taste victory once back on track however, with Kelly carving his way through from 12th on the grid in Race 1 of the 2011 Darwin Triple Crown.

Brendan Strong in the car at the 2022 Repco Bathurst 1000. Pic: Nathan Wong

Later that year, Kelly was back in the winners’ circle, converting from pole position at Sandown.

KR-02 was the last Holden Supercar built by the team, which switched to Nissan Altimas for 2013.

Kelly Racing’s third and fourth cars in 2011-12 were Perkins Engineering Commodores.

After two main game seasons, including being the car which IndyCar veteran Graham Rahal raced at the 2012 Gold Coast 600, KR-02 was handed down to Super2 for Jay Verdnik, Shane Price and then Taz Douglas before being snapped up by Strong.

Its last win remains Sandown 2011.

Also set to make their first appearances of the Kumho Series season are Turbo Brisbane teammates Shane Beikoff and Jarred Danaher, and Derek Hocking in a never-before-raced VE Commodore.

Entry list: Round 3, 2023 Kumho V8 Touring Car Series

NumberClassSponsorDriverCar
4Kumho CupRightway IndustrialTony AuddinoFord BF Falcon
7Kumho CupMoComm Motorsports CommunicationsJim PollicinaHolden VE Commodore
17Kumho CupTF MaintenanceJason FoleyFord BF Falcon
23Kumho CupRHM / NulonRay HislopFord FG Falcon
46Kumho CupTurbo BrisbaneJarred DanaherFord FG Falcon
57ChampionshipNotlaw RacingJamie TilleyFord FG Falcon
62Kumho CupTeam62Derek HockingHolden VE Commodore
68Kumho CupTurbo BrisbaneShane BeikoffFord AU Falcon
75Kumho CupCrusher Parts InternationalBrendan StrongHolden VE Commodore
79ChampionshipAnderson MotorsportJude BargwannaFord FG Falcon
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