Tim Slade’s return as a Supercars full-timer with the new Blanchard Racing Team is official.
The two-time race winner will spearhead the new single-car squad, which will be backed by CoolDrive Auto Parts, the Blanchard family business.
The Blanchards have owned a Racing Entitlements Contract since 2017, which has been parked at Brad Jones Racing for the past four seasons, and have leased a pair of Tickford Racing-built Ford Mustangs from Phil Munday as they go out on their own.
Tim Blanchard, a former full-time driver himself, will run the Melbourne-based operation out of Cooldrive’s head office, while engineer Brendan Hogan has moved from Tickford to take the team manager role.
For Slade the BRT deal marks a return to a permanent seat, after a year as a DJR Team Penske co-driver off the back of losing his BJR seat at the end of 2019.
“I am super happy to be joining the Blanchard Racing Team,” said Slade.
“The fit is perfect for me and I’m genuinely excited and proud to not only represent BRT but also the Blanchard family and the CoolDrive business.
“Having worked in the Acacia Ridge and Eagle Farm branches this year for a few months during the COVID period, I know how much the CoolDrive racing programme means to the staff.
“To have the race team workshop inside of the CoolDrive headquarters in Melbourne is really cool and gives the staff something that no other sponsor of the sport currently provides.
“Tim [Blanchard] has done a really great job of putting it all together and I can honestly say we have all of the right ingredients to achieve some good things.
“Supercars is an extremely competitive and tough category, so we’re under no illusions that it’s going to be easy. But in saying that, I’m excited to show everyone what we’ll be capable of.
“I’m also very fortunate to have the continued support from long-time supporter James Rosenberg. James has become a great friend over the years and I look forward to having him around the team again just like the old JRR SBR days.”
Blanchard added that the announcement marks a long-term vision from the family coming to fruition.
“For CoolDrive Auto Parts and the entire Blanchard family, this announcement is the result of a long-term commitment to Supercars racing, and is very exciting for all involved,” he said.
“We joined with Brad Jones Racing in 2016 in a customer relationship. It was a good run over those years, we learned a lot. But now it is time for us to stand on our own two feet.
“Our long-term vision by investing in a Racing Entitlements Contract was to one day control our own destiny, with Supercars still providing the perfect platform to promote our core automotive business.
“We’re investing strongly in this project with high-quality equipment, a top-line facility, and very skilled people.
“We also thought it fitting to rename the outfit to Blanchard Racing Team to appropriately reflect the entire Blanchard family’s involvement in the team, and passion and commitment to the sport. Motorsport is who we are, it’s in our family’s DNA.
“Tim is a great asset for the team, he brings a lot of experience and speed, which is important for a single-car outfit. I have known him for a very long time, and have a lot of respect for his ability.
“I can’t wait for the 2021 season to get started.”
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