Wood gets BJR return with CoolDrive seat

  • 16/04/2018
  • By Mitchell Adam
  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

Dale Wood will return to Brad Jones Racing later this year, in its Team CoolDrive Commodore for the PIRTEK Enduro Cup.

Wood, a full-time Supercars driver from 2014-17, has penned a deal to join Tim Blanchard at Sandown, Bathurst and the Gold Coast.

The 34-year-old raced BJR’s #21 Commodore in 2014 and ’15, taking a podium at Winton in the first of those campaigns, before single seasons with Nissan and Erebus.

He has switched to the Porsche Carrera Cup this year and sits second in the standings after two events.

BJR’s other two Enduro Cup pairings remain unchanged from 2017, with Macauley Jones to line up with Nick Percat and Ash Walsh partnering Tim Slade.

“I’m really excited to be joining Tim Blanchard and Team CoolDrive for the 2018 Supercars Endurance Cup,” Wood said.

“I caught up with Tim and the team over the Melbourne 400 weekend, and to be able to walk into the pits and chat with all the guys and girls I’ve worked with before was just like old times.

“It’s all very familiar and makes the job of getting behind the wheel of the Team CoolDrive Supercar pretty easy.

“They know what to expect from me and I know they’re more than capable of getting the job done at their end.

“It’s a great crew and I believe Tim and I will be quiet achievers, I’m looking forward to working with him.

“Driving in the Porsche Carrera Cup this year gives me plenty of time behind the wheel.

“I’m really enjoying the season so far and whilst it’s a lot of fun, I’m still as competitive as ever.”

Wood’s strongest 2017 performances came in the PIRTEK Enduro Cup with Chris Pither, starting seventh at Sandown and finishing fourth at Bathurst.

The pair finished equal 10th in the three-event standings with the sister Erebus Commodore of Bathurst winners David Reynolds and Luke Youlden.

Percat and Slade are eighth and 10th in the Supercars standings entering this weekend’s WD-40 Phillip Island 500, BJR’s 250th event in the championship.

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Blanchard is 23rd with a best race result of 11th recorded at Albert Park last month.

“Dale and I have raced side by side for a few years now, so I believe we’ll make a good combination as team-mates,” Blanchard said.

“He’s got plenty of experience behind the wheel of a Supercar, so he was clearly going to be a top pick for a co-driver seat this year.

“Racing in the Porsche Carrera Cup this year gives Dale quality seat time; the level of competition in the category is pretty high and it will keep him sharp.”

Wood’s recruitment leaves just a single PIRTEK Enduro Cup seat unaccounted for, at Matt Stone Racing.

MSR is understood to be down to a shortlist of candidates to partner Todd Hazelwood, who was Blanchard’s 2017 co-driver.

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