- New reality TV show 'Shannons Supercar Showdown' to screen on 7mate on Saturday afternoons from July 24
- Hosted by Grant Denyer with V8 Supercar stars Todd and Rick Kelly as judges
- Show features 10 contestants, all young racing drivers from Australia and around the world, competing in a series of elimination challenges
- Winning contestant to race at the 2011 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 alongside Denyer for 'Shannons-Mars Racing', prepared by Kelly Racing
- Show will also feature never before seen access behind the scenes of the Kelly Racing V8 Supercars team both at events and at the team's workshop
- 'Shannons Supercar Showdown' will be produced by Logie-awarding winning production company WTFN, creators of Bondi Vet, Coxy's Big Break and Trisha & Krishna - The Quest For Separate Lives
- 'Shannons Supercar Showdown' is a joint production between WTFN, The Media Mix and Kelly Racing, with motor enthusiast insurance company Shannons as the naming rights partner
Launching July 24 on 7mate, a revolution in motorsport television will be born. Kelly Racing has thrown open its doors to allow TV cameras behind the scenes of what really makes a V8 Supercar team tick.
And as a part of new reality TV program 'Shannons Supercar Showdown', Todd and Rick Kelly will embark on a global search to find the next young driver to join their ranks. From an initial cast of 10 contestants, all young, up-and-coming racing drivers in their own right, a series of eliminations will determine the winner of one of the most significant prizes ever offered in motorsport - to race at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 this October. The winner will race alongside the show's host, TV personality and racing driver Grant Denyer, in the Shannons-Mars Racing entry at Mount Panorama, a fifth entry in 'The Great Race' for Kelly Racing.
As well as unearthing a future V8 Supercar star, Shannons Supercar Showdown joins Kelly Racing as Rick and Todd Kelly, Greg Murphy and David Reynolds battle it out in the 2011 V8 Supercars Championship. Race fans will meet the people behind the scenes critical to the success of a motorsport race team from engineers and mechanics to designers, dieticians and personal trainers.
Local and international hopefuls, including three female drivers, will also descend on Kelly Racing headquarters to take part in this unique event. Ten of the hottest up-and-coming drivers from Australia and across the globe will compete for the coveted spot, as they eat, sleep and train with Kelly Racing and learn everything there is to know about becoming a champion driver.
Over the series they will be eliminated one by one until only the best of the best is left standing.
The drama of V8 Supercars racing at the elite level through the eyes of Rick and Todd Kelly will provide the ultimate contrast to our young hopefuls who are embarking on their own race of a lifetime to get a foot in the door of a V8 Supercar team.
RICK KELLY - Kelly Racing:
"We want to build Kelly Racing as the benchmark team on and off the track," said Rick Kelly.
"We take our role as Team Owners seriously and are keen to encourage the development of new talent into our sport through marketing innovation. The scale of this project has been enormous and we are proud to be working with WTFN, The Media Mix and 7mate to make it happen."
ON GIVING YOUNG DRIVERS THE CHANCE TO RACE AT BATHURST...
"This is something that Kelly Racing has been working on for over 12 months with our two partners in the project, WTFN and The Media Mix," said Rick Kelly.
"Since our birth, Kelly Racing has been a team that is very interested in bringing new talent into V8 Supercars.
"It's very tough for youngsters to break in and not many teams are able to give young drivers the opportunity that both Todd and I had when we came into the sport.
"Shannons Supercar Showdown is a fantastic platform for us to offer this opportunity to young guys and girls from Australia and around the world.
"It gives them the opportunity to compete in one of the biggest sporting events in Australia and one of the world's iconic motorsport events.
"It's massively exciting for us as a team, but it's a project that is fantastic for Australian motorsport as a whole in terms of exposing the sport to a wider audience."
ON SEEING BEHIND THE SCENES OF KELLY RACING...
"In V8 Supercars the focus is on presentation and professionalism," said Rick Kelly.
"Generally when we get interviewed we are always very focused on being good corporate spokespeople in front of the camera, whether the results are good or bad.
"This show is definitely not like that. This is a reality TV show about finding new driving talent, but another big part of 'Shannons Supercar Showdown' is seeing behind the scenes of Kelly Racing and looking at how a V8 Supercars team operates.
"You will really see the ups and downs of the sport and the emotion behind it, not just the smile in front of the camera for that small moment.
"You will really see the emotion behind the scenes both in the preparation at the workshop as well as at the race track.
"For the first time people will get to see what really does happen when the team doesn't go so well, when we are upset and how we gather that up and work together as a race team to try and bounce back.
"We are quite excited to be the first to offer that to the V8 Supercar fans, motorsport fans and TV viewers in general. We would love it if this show brings some new fans to the sport as well."
MARK BEHR - Marketing Manager, Shannons:
"Supercar Showdown is the perfect communications platform to demonstrate our commitment to motoring enthusiasts through an exciting variety of media activities that reward endeavour, persistence and hopefully discovers a future star," said Mark Behr.
MARTIN WHITAKER - Chief Executive Officer, V8 Supercars
"This is a brilliant concept which again demonstrates the enormous depth of V8 Supercars to have a mainstream reality show based around the living the dream premise,” said Martin Whitaker.
"An enormous amount of hard work has been happening behind the scenes to make this work and I applaud Kelly Racing for its initiative. The show is sure to be a big hit and who knows, it may just unveil the next star of V8 Supercar racing."
TODD KELLY - Kelly Racing:
"I just can't believe the opportunity that these kids have got," said Todd Kelly.
"What must be going through their heads right now would be amazing.
"I remember getting the chance to go and join the Holden Racing Team when I was a 17 years old, and that was a long process of getting a test day and then eventually getting signed full-time.
"But one of these young drivers is going to get to drive at Bathurst in just a few months, so what this group has in front of them is a massive opportunity.
"We've been able to achieve one of our major goals with this project and that's giving young drivers their big break in motorsport. But to have it at this magnitude as part of a reality TV show with these talented young male and female drivers is unreal and as team we are so excited to be giving them this chance."
ON KELLY RACING ENTERING A FIFTH ENTRY FOR BATHURST …
"Bathurst is the event that we look forward to all year as our biggest race," said Todd Kelly.
"All the workshop-based staff across all the departments come to Bathurst because we really need all the manpower that we can get at an event as big as that.
"We already have a lot of extra guys at Bathurst that can assist in running a fifth car there, but certainly not enough to do it properly.
"So we were very lucky that Dean Orr became available and was keen to join us and have a crack at this program.
"We didn't muck around when he became available, we grabbed him straight away and the management of that whole fifth car in terms of the staff, the car, the organisation, is all his responsibility.
"That means that the fifth car can be run at the level that we want it to be run and is a professional and organised entry for Bathurst. It also means that it will not impact on the running of our four full-time cars both at the workshop and at the track at Bathurst.
"We really couldn't be happier with how the whole thing has fallen into place and the people that we have been able to assist with the program."
ABOUT KELLY RACING:
Kelly Racing fields four cars full-time in the V8 Supercars Championship, arguably the world's premier touring car category.
Based in the Melbourne suburb of Braeside, Kelly Racing was founded at the start of 2009 by Todd and Rick Kelly, two of the most successful drivers in V8 Supercars.
Kelly Racing employs almost 50 full-time staff and is the only four-car team in V8 Supercars. The team will expand in October to field a fifth car at Bathurst under the banner of 'Shannons-Mars Racing'.
The team's four full-time entries are driven by Todd and Rick Kelly (Jack Daniel's Racing), Greg Murphy (Pepsi Max Crew) and David Reynolds (Stratco Racing).