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Kelly Jr takes wheel of Todd’s final Supercar

MASON Kelly has taken the wheel of his father’s last Supercar.

The teenage son of 2005 Bathurst 1000 winner Todd, Kelly raced his father’s former Carsales Nissan Altima Supercar on the weekend at the Historic Sandown event.

Competing in the final round of the National Sports Sedan Series held at the event, Kelly finished eighth, 12th and fifth in the three races over the weekend.

He started at the rear of field, by choice, for the first two encounters before accepting his progressive grid slot for the third and final leg.

Kelly has been building his experience in racing of late, lining up in Hyundai Excel competition as well as in Sports Sedans at the wheel of Stuart Eustice’s MARC Car.

The car he took the wheel of on the weekend is Todd Kelly’s last ever Supercar, KR007, which was restored to how it ran at his farewell Supercars event in Newcastle in 2017.

Mason Kelly. Pic: The Race Torque

“It was all a bit surreal to be honest because he has come through Hyundais and then he has done a little bit of stuff in a MARC car in Sports Sedans and he has taken to it quite well,” Todd, who was on the tools running the #7 Altima, told V8 Sleuth.

“The experience level that he has got, to jump in a Supercar, is not a lot so it was quite a stressful weekend for me.

“But he’s a sensible young kid so we thought we would let him have what we thought was going to be a putt around at the back of the Sports Sedans field in the Carsales car.

“After he did a few laps, he got the feel of it pretty well. He had never driven a car that he had to heel-and-toe on downshifts with the dog box or anything like that, so he got the hang of that pretty quick and in no time at all he was into it.

“He was passing 10 or 12 cars in each race and then we ended up just letting him start where he finished in the last race and he was getting around pretty good.

“It was really good to get the old Carsales Altima back onto the track, it’s a really nice looking car actually and it has only been sitting in hibernation since 2019 in our workshop.”

Mason’s only prior experience in a Supercar was a handful of laps at a wet Winton circuit.

Intrigue has surrounded the potential return of Kelly Racing in 2023, given Todd owns Grove Racing’s three Mustangs which will become eligible for Super2 next year. His Altima will also be able to compete in Super3.

That could mean opportunities for Mason, although Year 12 at high school is a priority for next year.

KR007 was raced by Todd Kelly in 2017 and Andre Heimgartner in 2018-19. Pic: The Race Torque

“There’s a lot to try to work out,” said Todd.

“We need to work out what the best move is for him and work out what it’s going to cost and how we pull it together.

“We have still got obviously my car and all of the equipment and the race transporter for it which is being leased out this year, but we get that back at the end of the year.

“It’s currently carrying the Gen3 cars around for Supercars.

“There’s a bit of interest for us to run a couple of cars and maybe even the Mustangs, we get our three Mustangs back at the end of the year as well, so there’s a lot to play out. We just need to work out if we do it, how we go about it.”

As for speculation that the Kelly Mustangs will be run by MW Motorsport in the 2023 Super2 Series?

“Nothing is sold. We still have the three Mustangs here next year,” said Todd.

“There is a few people kind of kicking tyres at the moment but no one has put any firm plans to us.”

MWM has been exploring its options in the wake of news that its Altima fleet will be ineligible for Super2 next season.

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