F1 flavour for Blanchard Perth wildcard

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 26/04/2019
  • By Mitchell Adam

Tim Blanchard will return to the Supercars field at the PIRTEK Perth SuperNight carrying a Mercedes Formula 1-inspired livery and number.

Blanchard, who retired from full-time driving at the end of 2018, is running as a wildcard next weekend at Barbagallo Wanneroo Raceway with Brad Jones Racing.

PIRTEK Perth SuperNight | Tickets | Event info

Rather than his traditional CoolDrive Auto Parts colours, Blanchard will sport the backing of Malaysian oil giant Petronas.

That includes a silver, aqua and black livery based on the scheme carried in F1 by Mercedes, including Australian Grand Prix winner Valtteri Bottas's #77 racing number.

Petronas is exclusively available through CoolDrive in Australia, and the brand has appeared on CoolDrive Commodores at Albert Park the last two years.

"Petronas obviously have a great passion for motorsport as shown by their involvement with Mercedes in Formula 1," Blanchard said.

"I am thrilled to be partnering with them for their first foray into the Virgin Australia Supercar Championship.

"I’ll be working with engineer Paul Scalzo who has been an integral part of the BJR crew for a number of years plus we’ve got a good crew working on the Petronas Motorsport car.

"For all involved it has been business as usual and everyone is excited to get the weekend underway."

Scalzo was most-recently Nick Percat's BJR race engineer in 2017 and early '18.

Percat visited Barbagallo last week, an early look at the resurfaced track accompanying a coaching session.

In the drivers' standings after four events, Percat and Tim Slade are seventh and eighth, and rookie Macauley Jones 24th in the CoolDrive Commodore using Blanchard's REC.

Blanchard qualified a season-best of 11th in Perth last year, but lost a wheel in that Sunday race and finished 24th.

He is expected to team up with Percat in the PIRTEK Enduro Cup.

"We head across to the event knowing the track has recently been resurfaced, so we’re expecting to see a few differences in some of the kerbs and old bumps that used to be there," Blanchard added.

"It’ll change the way we set up the cars heading into the weekend, and hopefully we’ll be getting around there a little faster than what we used to.

"I’m excited to go racing again."

The maiden PIRTEK Perth SuperNight starts with practice next Thursday evening, before races on Friday and Saturday.

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