Sign Up

Our Privacy Policy identifies how we handle personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act. Read it prior to submitting your information.

By clicking “Register” you agree to our Terms Of Use and Privacy Policy.

The road to recovery for Mason Kelly

Work has begun on the resurrection of Mason Kelly’s Ford Mustang ahead of the third round at Townsville following an engine detonation and fire during race 2 in Perth.

Kelly enjoyed season-best qualifying results in each race in Perth, starting eighth in the opener and improving to fifth ahead of team-mate Aaron Cameron in the second.

The 19-year-old held this position and was on target for a career best top five finish during Sunday’s event until an engine failure and fire forced Kelly into retirement.

Extensive damage was caused to the Mustang after a conrod snapped and split the sump, leading to oil spreading resulting in fire engulfing the car as Kelly guided it to the nearest fire marshal post.

“It was a spontaneous failure,“ said Kelly.

“The engines were still well within life, the plan was to always take them out after Perth as they still had a test day’s worth of life in them and were due to become spares.

“We suspect it’s a conrod that has gone through the sump, with the oil coming out of the engine and spreading throughout the car resulting in catching on fire.

“We don’t really talk about it, but on a track walk we always look for those flag points and just in the moment you’ve got to be on it. It’s a matter of trying to save the car while not being t-boned attempting to cross the track at the same time, which is bloody tricky.”

A quick inspection took place prior to the Kelly Racing squad placing the Mustang in the truck to return to its Melbourne base, and an early diagnosis is a full rebuild will need to take place.

“It was a fair rush to get everything packed up on its way to Melbourne, but from what we did have a look at it there appears to be a fair lot of damage,” Kelly explained.

“The fire was going for a fair while and everything got really hot. There will be a lot of brake, clutch and electrical lines in addition to a lot of hardware, which will be going in the bin. It’ll be basically stripped back to a shell and rebuilt.

“It’s gone all the way through the car as the oil spread to the back so the boot lid is burnt to a crisp and most of the panels have melted in some way.

“It’ll be a big push from everyone at Kelly Racing, not that there are many of us. Dad (Todd), Daniel, my other mechanic Mikey and myself will be going flat out to build it before Townsville.

“There will be a lot of parts we’ll need to make and that’s why we’re really lucky that we manufacture a lot of those components ourselves in the machine and composites shop. The good thing is we can do a lot of it in-house, but there will still be plenty to do.”

Townsville on July 5-7 is the next round, giving the small squad some time to effect repairs as Kelly will be getting his hands dirty to fast track the process.

Kelly was happy with the speed displayed at Raceway and is eager to get back behind the wheel.

“At Perth, we demonstrated the pace to be up that front and I believe we can continue this for the rest of the season,” Kelly enthused.

“We’re still seeking some support to come onboard and I want to keep on fighting up the front like we did in Perth.”

While there was disappointment for Kelly, his teammate Cameron continued to impress, leaving Perth with a pair of fifth place finishes and running second in the title chase.

The Dunlop Super2 Series continues in Townsville on July 5-7.