THE MEN BEHIND THE MACHINES
RICK & ELYSIA
RICK KELLY JACK DANIEL’S RACING (NISSAN) Racing is a family tradition and a driving passion in the Kelly family. Rick, 30, and older brother Todd dedicate every waking minute to building the strongest factory team in the competition. This will be the fifth straight season for Jack Daniel’s Racing – but for the first time in a Nissan. The Kelly family has always been involved in racing – Rick’s parents used to race ski boats. But it all started for Rick when he headed to the go-kart track at the age of five. “I was five and my brother was eight. We raced for about 10 years and it snowballed from there,” he said. “It’s the competition I love the most – turning up and competing, more so than the love of cars. It’s that real competition that drives me.” Rick met wife Elysia through racing and the couple were married last August. “It’s very good – she works with our race team coordinating the membership program and the website and works within the commercial team. That works very well because we’re away so much. Being at work together is quite a help,” he said. “Racing is just part of our life.” Travel and sightseeing is a bonus of being on the road but Rick said during race weekends there wasn’t a lot of chance to see the sights. “But we do travel to so many great locations with our great sponsors like Jack Daniel’s and get a lot of great opportunities. This week we’re heading to the States and we’ll visit the Jack Daniel’s distillery and Nissan Plant. It’s PR but I love doing that, it’s great,” he said last month.
42 DUO MAGAZINE JUNE 2013 duomagazine.com.au
Not one to sit still long, Rick’s other hobbies includes camping, wind surfing, cycling and wake boarding. “It’s also good from a fitness point of view, it’s good to challenge yourself and do things away from the race track. Elysia and I love to go camping with our two dogs and get away. Since we run our own team now there’s not so much time to get away but we’re happy with that in our effort to get our team to the front.” Preparing for a race involves a strict training regime but mentally Rick, a two-time Bathurst victor, said it was about going through the data, vision from the in-car camera and Channel 7 vision from the previous year. “So when we go out, we well and truly know where to position the car and the break markers etc,” he said. “We just need to continue to build on the results we’ve had this year. We’re hovering around the back half of the top 10 and we want to improve on that. We’re not coming into Townsville with expectations to win the event – obviously – but we’re hoping to go in and improve. “It’s about getting back to the point where we can win another championship – that’s why we go to work every day. The next five years is about building the strongest factory team in the sport. We dedicate every second we’re awake to that.”
MARO & STEFANIE
MARO ENGEL SP TOOLS RACING (MERCEDES-BENZ E63 AMG) Travelling the world comes naturally for Maro Engel who joined the V8 Supercars this year driving a Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG for Erebus Motorsport V8. Born in Munich, raised in Monaco and currently based at the Gold Coast, Maro, 27, juggles life on the circuit with partner of five years, Stefanie, back in Monaco. “Travelling is a big part of the job, a part I very much enjoy,” he said. “It’s fantastic to have a job that enables you to discover the world. I’ve pretty much raced on every continent – Africa and South America are still missing. “Travelling is something you have to consider in your training because long travel takes quite a lot of energy out of you – you want to be arriving at the race in the best state of mind and physically fit and not drained from travelling. It’s something I’ve learned from a young age – travelling with gokarting in Europe.” At the moment Maro spends about nine months in Australia and three months at home in Monaco, and his partner Stefanie spends about three months in Australia and nine months in Monaco. Being apart for long periods is just a part of life for the couple but Stefanie is kept busy running a fashion company with Maro’s mother and is very supportive of the lifestyle Maro leads. “The opportunity to race came when I went to preschool in Monaco when I met my best friend Nico Rosberg, who is now racing in Formula One. His father was a former Formula One champion,” Maro said.
Published on May 31, 2013
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