Frustrated Slade at career crossroads

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 11/10/2019
  • By Stefan Bartholomaeus

A "frustrating and disappointing" last 12 months at Brad Jones Racing has left 327-race Supercars veteran Tim Slade facing a career crossroads.

The 34-year-old South Australian is in the midst of a horror fourth season at Brad Jones Racing, currently 15th in the standings and without a top 10 finish in his last 14 races.

Out-of-contract at BJR, Slade is currently assessing his options for next year, which could result in a move to Triple Eight customer squad Matt Stone Racing.

For now, Slade insists he wants to figure out a way forward with BJR, with which he took his only two Supercars wins to date in 2016.

“We all want it to work; I've loved my time at BJR since day dot, I have a good relationship with Brad, open and honest,” said Slade.

“It's kind of like well, if things don't turn around or show signs of improvement in the short term, there may not be any point in continuing, because it's not good for either of us.

“For Brad business is results, and it's not enjoyable [for me] when you're running around where I have been. So that's kind of where it's all at at the moment.”

Stone is known to be splitting with current driver Todd Hazelwood at the end of this season as he tries to take the next step with his second-year team.

Asked of MSR, Slade added: “They've done a really good job. They have all the key ingredients in the team.

“But like I said, we'll just try and make this work [with BJR] first and foremost, and then think about Plan B.”

Stone admits he’s chasing an experienced pilot for the car and rates Slade highly, but whether a deal comes together is another matter.

“I’ve worked with Tim before, I know him personally and have for a long time,” said Stone, referencing their time together at Stone Brothers Racing.

“I think he’s a great driver and I would love to run him, but as far as speculation goes that’s pretty much all we’re talking about.

“If we only run one car, we definitely won’t be running a rookie in that, but as far as who and what and when, [we’re] probably not at a point where we can talk about that.”

Jones has his star driver Nick Percat - currently eighth in the standings - already locked in for 2020, while son Macauley is currently in his rookie season and expected to stay on.

BJR’s Super2 and wildcard runner Jack Smith, who is racing for MSR in the enduros, is meanwhile waiting in the wings for a full-time seat should one be available.

Asked of Slade, Jones stressed he’s relaxed about his team’s current position in the silly season.

“Timmy’s had a pretty rough year, to be honest, and we’re working through it with him,” he said.

“You know, I’ve never actually ever turned up at the circuit and not had a driver, so I’m sure that will be sorted [before 2020].

“If that’s the right way for Timmy to go [MSR], and that helps get himself sorted out, then I don’t have a problem with that.

“But right now he’s with me until the end of the year and we need to get the best results we can.”

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