A matter of time

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 17/09/2015
  • By Kassie Gadeke

Tim Blanchard has revealed the efforts he is putting in to improve as a racer and ensure his security in V8 Supercars.

Blanchard comes off his best result of the 2015 season and first top 10 finish with Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport, having earned eighth place with co-driver Karl Reindler at the Wilson Security Sandown 500.

The 28-year old sat out the 2014 V8 Supercars season, co-driving with current team LDM and was elevated to full-time driver this year as the team expanded to two cars. The growth has been a challenge, though team boss Barry Hay earmarked Sandown as the time for expected improvement.

It seems to have come - and Blanchard is doing everything in his power to ensure he is in the position to capitalise.

"I definitely sat on the sidelines last year and I know how tough and frustrating that was," Blanchard told v8supercars.com.au.

"Where we started the year, it was always going to be a hard slog, but I'm pretty determine to try and prove that I deserve to be in V8 Supercars and I'll put in the hard yards to get there."

After teammate Nick Percat revealed on Tuesday's Inside Supercars that Blanchard had received assistance from current Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 winner Paul Morris, Blanchard explained the effort he was putting in to find those 'extra tenths'.

"In every other sport you have coaches, whether you're an AFL player or tennis player, you have a coach there to improve your performance and it's something a lot of people in motorsport don't do, which is really strange," Blanchard told v8supercars.com.au.

"No one's perfect, you can always improve your own performance.

"I went and saw Tim Sugden [British racer] in the UK earlier in the year and Paul Morris offered to give me a bit of help after Eastern Creek ... those sorts of things always help.

"It's nothing ground-breaking but it's just fine-tuning a few little things - reminding you of a few things you might've forgotten or gotten a bit slack with in your driving technique. It's really important to keep on top of those things."

Earlier this year David Reynolds - who now sits third in the Championship behind his Prodrive teammate - talked about seeing a sports psychologist to help with his aggression. Blanchard has been doing the same.

"That's something I've started working on as well - I've seen a sports psych lately and changed my fitness training regime," he said.

"I've started ... going to a boxing gym - not with a personal trainer, but with a boxing gym - things like that, just trying to find that extra little bit.

"V8 Supercars is so close now, anything you can do to find half a tenth in performance [is important].

"The driver is still probably the biggest variable in the car so you need to work on that as much as you work on the car."

While Blanchard and the team knew it would be a hard slog this season, it was rewarding to deliver on the timeframe they'd set - and at the time of year when it counts.

"It's really good to finally get a decent result, we've kind of been chipping away at it all year," Blanchard said.

"It's been very difficult but we knew it was going to be hard expanding and we've had a few things thrown at us ... but Lucas and Baz [team bosses Lucas Dumbrell and Hay] kept working hard, made the right calls and improved the team throughout the year. It's good to start seeing some results."

And even though it took some time to finalise a co-driver in Karl Reindler - who may have seemed an outside choice after last having driven a V8 Supercar in 2013 at the Gold Coast - he performed well and proved his worth across the Sandown event.

"Karl was always on the list," Blanchard said.

"We wanted to make sure we made the correct decision and we've done that because Karl did an awesome job all weekend at Sandown and I think surprised a lot of people up and down pit lane. He was definitely one of if not the best co-driver out there on the weekend."

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