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Kelly brothers-in-arms for V8 Supercar enduros

 

Brothers Todd and Rick Kelly will drive together in the Sandown 500 and the Bathurst 1000 for the first time in their careers under a revamp of enduro pairings across the Holden Racing Team and the Toll HSV Dealer Team.

Brothers Todd and Rick Kelly will drive together in the Sandown 500 and the Bathurst 1000 for the first time in their careers under a revamp of enduro pairings across the Holden Racing Team and the Toll HSV Dealer Team.

Rick, currently 2nd in V8 Supercar championship standings, will team up with Todd in the #15 Toll HSVDT Commodore VZ while third-placed Garth Tander will join five-time Bathurst 1000 winner Mark Skaife in his #2 Holden Racing Team Commodore VZ.

Two-time Sandown 500 and seven-time Bathurst 1000 winner Jim Richards will drive in the #22 HRT Commodore teamed with young protégé Ryan Briscoe in the latter's first competitive V8 Supercar drive, while the #16 HSVDT Commodore will be piloted by V8 Supercar veteran Anthony Tratt and Fujitsu Development Series up-and-comer Tony D'Alberto.

"Being paired for the enduros is something that Rick and I have talked about forever and we're thrilled it has finally found a way to happen," said Todd Kelly, 26, who won his first Bathurst 1000 last year alongside Skaife.
Two-time Bathurst 1000 winner Rick, 23, added: "We have an enormous amount of respect for each other's driving ability and total faith in each other not to make silly mistakes. To win Bathurst back-to-back was incredible, but it would be even more special to win with my brother."

Tom Walkinshaw, whose company Walkinshaw Racing oversees the preparation of both the Holden Racing Team and the Toll HSV Dealer Team, said the revamp was principally designed to protect the championship aspirations of the leading contenders.

"Risk management says that you need to put Garth and Rick in separate cars for the enduros. The fact that they will each drive alongside a defending Bathurst champion is ideal for our needs," he said.
He said the Richards-Briscoe combination was also an exciting prospect for HRT fans. "It's an intriguing pairing, to put the master in the same car with the apprentice. Jim is a proven performer at this time of year and if Ryan is as good as his CV suggests, he will be very competitive."

Holden Motorsport Manager Simon McNamara said: "We have two ambitions in mind at Holden this year, which is firstly to win the championship and secondly to win Bathurst.
"This plan not only gives us an each-way bet on the championship, it gives strong pairings with legitimate claims of winning Sandown and Bathurst."
Tander said he was delighted to be driving in the enduros with Skaife. "Mark, Rick and Todd are all top drivers, and it wouldn't really matter which way we mix it, they are all Bathurst winners and all more than capable of doing the job," he said.

"Mark knows exactly what to do out there - last year at Bathurst he and Todd drove the perfect race, consistent without taking any risks. That's exactly what we need."
Skaife said he would do whatever was needed to achieve success. "I will do what's best for Holden and what is best for the championship, without jeopardising our chances at Sandown and Bathurst," he said.
The Betta Electrical Sandown 500 will be held at Sandown International Raceway in Melbourne on September 1-3. The Super Cheap Auto Bathurst 1000 will be held at Mt Panorama, Bathurst on October 5-8.

Pairings for the Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000:
Holden Racing Team #2 Commodore VZ: Mark Skaife/Garth Tander
Holden Racing Team #22 Commodore VZ: Jim Richards/Ryan Briscoe
Toll HSV Dealer Team #15 Commodore VZ: Rick Kelly/Todd Kelly
Toll HSV Dealer Team #16 Commodore VZ: Anthony Tratt/Tony D'Alberto

Steve Colquhoun


Auto Trader New Zealand