Driver/owner Todd Kelly will make this weekend’s Bathurst 1000 his final race appearance for the 2012 V8 Supercars season.
The Jack Daniel’s Racing veteran has confirmed he will undergo shoulder surgery following this weekend’s endurance event, ruling him out of the final four championship rounds of the season.
Kelly sustained the shoulder injury at a routine team training camp exercise in the lead-up to last month’s Sandown 500.
After consulting with the V8 Supercars’ regular medico, Dr Car Le, Kelly was referred to Melbourne-based shoulder surgeon Dr Shane Barwood, who has deemed that surgery will be the only way to repair the injury.
This is the latest in a series of injury setbacks to befall the four-car Kelly Racing stable.
Earlier this season, Kelly injured his foot in an accident at the team’s workshop in March. This was followed by team-mate Greg Murphy being forced to miss four rounds of the championship after undergoing two separate rounds of surgery to treat a major back injury he sustained at the start of the season.
“It’s certainly been a season of contrasts,” Kelly quipped.
“These types of injuries are so rare in our sport, yet in the space of six months two of the team’s drivers are forced to be spectator.”
A team statement confirmed that no decision had yet been made as to who would serve as Kelly replacement for the final four championship rounds at Surfers Paradise (where he was set to be partnered with IndyCar racewinner Marco Andretti), Yas Marina, Winton and Homebush.
When Greg Murphy was sidelined earlier this year, the team elected to deploy the services of reserve driver David Russell for the SkyCity Triple Crown at Darwin, followed by calling up former F1 champion Jacques Villeneuve for the subsequent rounds at Townsville, Queensland Raceway and Sydney Motorsport Park.
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