Diesel is in racer Rick's veins
LIKE many other sports in Australia, Supercar racing is well supported by both sponsors and race fans around the country, with the annual Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama the highlight of the motor racing year.
For the drivers, doing public relations and work for the sponsors is all part of the job, and Kelly Racing driver Rick Kelly was on the Castrol-BP stand at the Brisbane Truck Show last month meeting show-goers and showing off his Nissan Altima race car.
For the two-time Bathurst winner and 2006 Supercars champion it was also an opportunity to check out the action at the BCEC.
"It's exciting to be here through having Castrol and BP on the race car, it's a chance to work with great brands and people, and in the 18 years I have been racing I have never been here to the Brisbane Truck Show so I'm pretty keen to have a look around - there's plenty of good gear here,” he said.
The correlation between big rigs and motor sport is a close one, with the race transporters often as popular with racegoers as the cars themselves.
The Kelly Racing operation has been associated with Mack for a decade, with the team putting their faith in the Bulldog brand to get their racing operation around Australia each year.
"One of the many things people love about our sport is the transporters, they are a bit of a showpiece for us, and Mack has been part of our team since 2009, and with our two Mack B-doubles we are always getting people putting photos of them on social media,” he said.
Diesel has also been in the veins of the Kelly family for a number of years.
"The trucking industry has been part of our family for a long time - Todd (Rick's brother) has a couple of Macks he runs around Melbourne and also home in Mildura on the construction side of the business,” Rick said.
"I have a HR licence, and both Todd and Dad (John) have their B-double licences, so they have both been able to drive the transporters to race meetings over the years.”
To that end, on the same weekend as the Brisbane Truck Show Todd was piloting one of the Mack's up the Hume to Sydney for the first round of the 2019 TCR series at Eastern Creek.
The Kelly operation has also been associated with Castrol for a number of years, and in more recent times with parent company BP, with both companies prominent on the Nissan Supercar.
"My relationship with Castrol started in 2003 and they have been a partner in both product support and naming rights sponsorship, and with BP we started a relationship with them last year and to have brands that are as significant as those on the car are a good thing also,” he said.
Needless to say, the Kelly Racing Macks are fuelled with BP Ultimate Diesel and lubricated with Castrol product.
"We represent the brands on the car, but we are also loyal consumers of the product, for us that's a big part of what we do,” he said.
For the remainder of the 2019 racing calendar, the Kelly racing team will tackle races in locations including Townsville, Newcastle, Sandown Park (Melbourne) and of course 'The Great Race' at Mount Panorama in October, with the teams' sponsors doing their bit in helping get the four-car team up to the front of the grid.
"It's been a challenging year, we are as competitive as anyone else, we think we have turned it around, so we are looking forward to getting some more competitive results,” he
To follow the teams progress, and to check out the team's transporters, find Kelly Racing on Facebook.