Todd Kelly has announced that he will retire from full-time driving at the end of the 2017 Supercars season.
Kelly will start his last race as a full-time driver in this weekend’s Newcastle 500.
“To have a 20-year career doing something you love is pretty special,” Kelly said. “It’s been a long, solid and clean career of being a professional driver. And even though I would probably change a few things if I had my time again, there’s not anything I regret over that period.”
He revealed that a persistent knee injury contributed to today’s announcement.
“I’ve had knee surgery twice this year, and it’s been a decent battle,” continued Kelly. “Although, there have been positives for having a dodgy knee. I had gone 20 years without perfecting left foot braking, and at SMP this year I had to left foot brake all weekend. By the end of the weekend, I’d gotten pretty good at it. But in such a competitive sport that’s not something you want to develop during an event.
“I love driving, and that’s what kept me going for 20 years. I love getting the most out of a car. I love going around a fast corner having the thing sideways at 240km/h. The fear factor has not crept in as I’ve got older, so I’ve not lost any of that enjoyment at all.
"Going to an event and not jumping in the car will take a lot of getting used to. I mean, I don’t even know where to stand in the garage! We’ve spent a great deal of time getting good people into roles within the team, and I’ve spent my whole driving life in a car on the other end of the headset. So I don’t see myself putting the headsets on now taking over other people’s roles in the team. But I certainly have a keen eye for detail, whether it be from car prep to the engineering of the cars. That would be an area I’d like to put a lot of focus in, especially with the driver line up we’ll have next year. With Simona completing 12 months and progressing extremely well, this would allow me to put a bit more time to oversee how she is going.”
Todd Kelly blazed the trail that his younger brother Rick would follow. The Kelly family formed Kelly Racing in 2009, which four years later became Nissan Motorsport as the Japanese manufacturer joined the V8 Supercars championship.
Rising through the junior ranks of karts and Formula Ford, Kelly advanced to touring cars and made his Bathurst debut in 1998 Kelly was then signed up to the Holden Young Lions and would go on to spend half his career racing within the TWR squad.
He would win the Bathurst 1000 alongside Mark Skaife in 2005, and prior to that was part of the winning driver squad in Holden’s Monaro Bathurst 24 Hour team.