The veteran of 541 Supercars race starts, Todd Kelly was enjoying the good life for a couple of years, until his son, Mason, quickly proved that talent does indeed pass through the generations.
It was looking like a pleasant retirement for a while there — at least it seemed that way for 2005 Bathurst 1000 Champion, Todd Kelly, until Mason Kelly, his 18-year-old son, made his debut as a second-generation race driver He made his Supercars debut at the series’ opening round held on the concrete-walled streets of Newcastle in early March.
The junior Kelly competed in the Dunlop Super3 Series, which is the entry-level racing category before Super2. These racing categories are the two key steps a driver needs to make before breaking into the main level Repco Supercars Championship Series.
Very fittingly, Mason Kelly will drive the Nissan Altima Supercar, which was the last car that his father raced in the Supercars Championship before retiring from the sport at the conclusion of the 2017 season. In another interesting coincidence, the last time Todd Kelly raced that exact Nissan Altima Supercar was when he competed at the 2017 Newcastle 500, the final Supercar race of his outstanding career.
Mason’s Supercars debut also marked the return of Kelly Racing, the team founded in 2009 by his father and uncle, champion racer Rick Kelly. Their family-owned team successfully competed as a Holden team and later as the official Nissan Supercars team for 12 years.
Like all aspiring young racing drivers, Mason Kelly has enjoyed a steady rise through grassroots motorsport, including Karting, the Hyundai Excel Series and other state levels of competition.
Todd Kelly takes on the role of team manager and mentor for his son for his inaugural Super3 season, which is sure to be a very memorable father-son experience.
According to Mason Kelly, “It’s weird how it has worked out — the same car and same event as my dad’s last Supercars race. I was there for that race and I am glad to have my dad looking over my shoulder at my first race.
“I’m incredibly grateful for our friends and sponsors who have come on board to make it possible. It’s going to be a great experience,” the newest racer of the Kelly clan stated.
As you would expect, this is all a major case of deja vu for Todd Kelly. “I wasn’t expecting to get back into Supercars so quickly. It was a short-lived retirement from the pit lane, but I definitely have a good reason for it,” Kelly said.
“Mason has progressed well in his racing. He has really impressed us with his level-headed attitude all the way through his junior racing.
“We have everything we need to give Mason a good shot at it. The infrastructure from the old Kelly Racing is all there to run a Super3 team and with the help of some good friends, we are just going to get him out there and see how we go.
“Personally, it’s very exciting. My little guy is making his Supercars debut! I remember when I made my Supercars debut. It’s a big moment and I know that he is ready for this major next step,” Todd Kelly concluded.
Following the Newcastle opening round, the Dunlop Super3 Series will be supporting the Repco Supercars Championship at Perth, Townsville, Sandown, Bathurst and Adelaide. Full calendar information can be found at supercars.com