Speakers Profile - Todd Kelly










Travels From:
Regional Victoria

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Todd Kelly has forged an iron-clad reputation among fans - both Holden and otherwise - as a racer's racer, with a take-no-prisoners reputation on the track and a Mr Nice Guy persona off it.

Long considered the driver most likely to break through for Championship success from the emerging junior band of drivers, the "Toddler" was upstaged by his younger brother's title victory in 2005. Sibling rivalry and a change of teams in 2008 means the fire burns brighter than ever to reach the only career achievement missing from a bulging CV.

An Australian karting champion by the age of 12, Kelly moved to open wheelers in 1996 and finished third behind Garth Tander and Marcos Ambrose in the 1997 Australian Formula Ford title. The following year, he was runner-up to Kiwi Scott Dixon, who finished second in the 2007 IRL Series, in the Formula Holden Australian Drivers' Championship.

Identified by the Holden Racing Team as a future star while contesting the Australian Grand Prix Formula Ford support races in 1996, Kelly joined the Holden Young Lions program in 1997.

Gaining experience during a part-time V8 campaign in 1999/2000 with the HYL squad, Kelly produced enough to earn his first full-time drive with the Kmart Racing Team in 2001, alongside Greg Murphy.

Podium finishes at Bathurst and in the Queensland 500 and his first round win at Sandown followed that year, as did a sixth place championship finish.

In 2002, then 22-year-old Kelly finished second at three rounds and was fifth overall for the series - a drive with the official factory Holden Racing Team in 2003 the reward for yet another outstanding, consistent season.

His season in 2005 was easily his best to date with three round victories, including bringing home the silverware from the category's inaugural trip to Shanghai in China, winning at Darwin's Hidden Valley for the second consecutive year and teaming with Mark Skaife on his 26th birthday to win his first Bathurst 1000 at Mt Panorama. A strong championship contender throughout the 2005 season, he finished a career-best 4th to be the leading Holden driver.

His 2006 season was a story of two halves. Early mechanical dramas and bad luck left him languishing in season standings, only for six consecutive top-five finishes (including a win on the Gold Coast) to push him back up to sixth place by season's end with another win at Phillip Island.

2007 was a different story with a round victory in the season-opening Clipsal 500 and second placing - including a crucial last-race victory that gave Holden teammate Garth Tander the championship - at Phillip Island the highlights in a consistent but largely unremarkable final season with the Holden Racing Team to finish sixth in championship standings.

In 2008, Todd moved across to Jack Daniels racing, a move that would see him aid in the design and development of his V8 Supercar. Months of blood sweat and tears paid off with the team well and truly earning a race win in Tasmania and a second place for the round. It was arguably one of the most deserved race wins and certainly the most rewarding in Todd Kelly's impressive career.

With the birth of Kelly Racing in 2009, Todd Kelly embarked on a new phase of his racing career. Now the master of his own destiny, Todd set about further developing the Jack Daniel's Racing cars and achieved the teams 2nd podium in their very first year at Phillip Island.

Far exceeding critics expectations in 2009, 2010 is set to be a highly successful year for Todd Kelly and the Kelly Racing operation.