Bathurst winner keen on Mustang test chance

Todd Kelly is likely to sample a Kelly Racing Mustang once his team's transition from Nissan to Ford hardware is complete.

Bathurst winner keen on Mustang test chance

The KR squad is facing a major transition during the Supercars off-season, scaling its main game programme back from four cars to two, and replacing its ageing Altimas with a pair of Ford Mustangs.

That process will include a full engine programme, based on modernising the Ford V8 technology used by Stone Brothers Racing up until 2012.

While 2020 drivers Rick Kelly and Andre Heimgartner will, understandably, do the majority of the pre-season running, Todd Kelly says he's hoping to get a taste of the Mustang himself at some point early in the new year.

Famous for his hands-on approach to development, particularly with engine work, the 2005 Bathurst 1000 winner reckons there's a genuine benefit in first-hand experience.

"It’s funny, that thought has crossed my mind," he said when asked if he'd test a Mustang.

"Being heavily involved in the engine side of it and designing manifolds and working out where to put the throttle body in the injector position for power and driveability – doing all those things and not being able to feel it on the track is a little bit strange.

"I've always had that luxury over the years to be involved in the design of something and then actually feel it and know what it needs to achieve or what needs to be changed.

"So I've considered jumping in the car when we launch them at our first shake down just to feel like what we’ve achieved. I’ve done all the exhaust system testing and everything already trying to get the power curve right for driveability and what we need on the track.

"I don't think I’ll be jumping in for any races - but I’d certainly love to see what a Mustang feels like."

Kelly made a surprise comeback to the driver's seat at this year's pre-season Phillip Island test, at which point an enduro drive alongside Rick was on the table.

Todd later decided against competing in the long-distance races, Rick admitting that was probably the final chance to talk his brother into a race return.

"I’ve tried every year since [he retired]," said Rick Kelly.

"It's always something that we would both like to do it. [But] his role in the team now is a critical one. He puts a lot of focus on that and he's done a great job. It's now something that's important to the whole team to have in there in that role, more than the driver.

"But yeah, it would be great to see him at the test day jump in the Mustang. There's obviously a lot that has gone into that project to have to whole team swap, and in particular in the engine.

"So it would be good to bring him in to see some of the rewards of that from a driving point of view."

Rick Kelly, Todd Kelly and Kay Hart

Rick Kelly, Todd Kelly and Kay Hart

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