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Saturday, May 25, 2024


TWO-TIME Bathurst 1000 winner Rick Kelly has explained why he didn’t entertain co-driving beyond the end of his full-time Repco Supercars Championship career.

When Kelly announced his retirement soon after the completion of the 2020 season, attention quickly turned to where he might pop up as a co-driver – if not at his own team.

But for all the hopes that he would press on for a tilt at a third Bathurst 1000 triumph, Kelly quietly retreated into obscurity.

Only in recent weeks has the 39-year-old come back into the public arena, unveiling the Hell Bent Garage series he’ll tackle with son Lex and opening up on his Trentham Waters Resort Mildura project.

Now, speaking on the Castrol Motorsport News podcast, he has admitted that he doesn’t particularly miss Supercars.

As for the potential to co-drive, especially with the arrival of Gen3 on the horizon, Kelly sounded satisfied to keep the door closed.

“I mean, there’s been a lot of opportunities here and there but when I do something, I like to be completely dedicated to it,” he said.

“So just to turn up and jump into something like that I don’t think is a good idea for being able to do what I would like to do and do a really good job of it, so I’ve tried to steer away from those opportunities just to focus on what I’ve got going on.”

Kelly laughed he doesn’t often get the chance to watch races live these days.

“Well, I hate to be this guy, but I don’t have Foxtel so it’s quite hard for me to watch live,” the 2006 champion added.

“Look, I do jump on the live timings through the weekend just to see what’s happening. I still obviously have a little bit of a vested interest in it and it’s been such a huge part of my life so it’s quite difficult to just walk away without checking in.

“Even on social media, a lot of my friends and people I know and the people I follow on social media are involved in the sport so you can’t disappear completely because it’s constantly popping up in front of you. So yeah, I keep an eye on that sort of stuff.

“It seems like a lot has changed but at the same time the way things happen and motorsport in general hasn’t changed at all with all the topics that come up and all the controversies and the Gen3 thing, it’s all as it used to be.

“I keep across some of it but I don’t watch it, and when you don’t watch it live and you don’t see the vision and you don’t have the commentators getting excited, it becomes hard to get excited about looking at a live timing screen, so it doesn’t occupy too much of my day when it’s on.”

All up, Kelly made 580 championship race starts between 2001 and 2020, picking up 10 pole positions, 13 wins and a further 46 podiums.

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