BRT flies under the radar in pre-season test

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 20/02/2021
  • By James Pavey

The new Blanchard Racing Team completed its final hit out ahead of its championship debut at Bathurst next weekend.

On Friday, BRT recruit Tim Slade helped the #3 CoolDrive Mustang to 113 laps in official pre-season testing at Winton Motor Raceway.

The #3 entry was 10th on the time sheets, but critically logged the sixth-most laps on the day.

Will Brown topped the test with the fastest lap time, with the day punctuated by hot conditions.

The Erebus Motorsport rookie set a 1:19.5089s just over an hour in, giving him a margin on the field of half a second.

Kelly Grove Racing's two cars completed the fewest laps on the day, but David Reynolds ended up third quickest.

Little changed in the day, although Walkinshaw Andretti United's Chaz Mostert jumped from eighth to second with 90 minutes remaining.

Slade initially clocked a 1:20.6486s just after two-and-a-half hours.

After six hours, he dropped in a 1:20.5096s, and he ended the day 10th all told, 1.0007s down on Brown's morning flyer.

The 2021 season marks the first time Blanchard's car, backed by family business CoolDrive Auto Parts, will be operated out of a fully-fledged Supercars team.

Blanchard, a former full-time driver himself, will run the Melbourne-based operation out of CoolDrive's head office.

He has already landed several coups, with Slade to be engineered by former Erebus guru Mirko De Rosa, with Brendan Hogan shifting from Tickford Racing to manage the team.

Friday's test marked the second serious on-track hit out for the new Ford team following a corporate ride day at Phillip Island earlier this month.

The Winton test also gave Hogan and De Rosa a chance to work alongside Slade in official conditions.

The new season will be Slade's first full-time campaign since 2019, having been left out of a drive for last season following his exit from Brad Jones Racing.

The 2021 Repco Supercars Championship will commence next week at the Repco Mt Panorama 500. Tickets are on sale now.

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