Wood steps in for Blanchard

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 15/08/2018
  • By Stefan Bartholomaeus

Co-driver Dale Wood completed a full test day in the #21 CoolDrive Holden at Winton on Tuesday, with Tim Blanchard absent in the United States.

The clash with Blanchard’s US travels occurred after BJR rescheduled its test, which was initially slated to take place in the week following the Red Rooster Sydney SuperNight 300.

This year’s PIRTEK Enduro Cup marks a return to BJR for now Carrera Cup front-runner Wood, having driven full-time for the team in 2014 and ’15.

His only previous laps in the CoolDrive entry had taken place in practice at Queensland Raceway last month, having skipped the Winton session in May.

“It was nice to be a main driver for the day while other co-drivers were sitting around doing the usual wait for their call-up to do half-an-hour!” Wood told Supercars.com.

“I wouldn’t say it easily, but it was a really, really good day. We had a lot to get through and often Winton can be inconsistent, but the track was good all day.

“Supercars are finicky things, but yesterday I thought the car was really good, and it was great working with the crew on the car.

“From the engineers to the mechanics, they’ve got a really good, consistent crew on that car now.”

Wood climbing aboard the CoolDrive Commodore

Following his time with BJR, Wood spent a season at Nissan Motorsport before moving to Erebus Motorsport for 2017, at the end of which he elected to step out of the category.

“For a list of reasons I was pretty unhappy with it all at the end of last year, I’d had a gutful,” he said.

“Even heading to the test there were a few question marks, but I left really happy and am now up and about and really looking forward to the enduros.”

Although familiar with much of the team, Wood says the current CoolDrive ZB felt very different to the BJR VFs he previously drove.

“It’s nothing like when I was there a few years ago, but I think the category as a whole over the last couple of years, the cars have all changed a lot,” he said.

“You can see from the pace that they’ve found in those cars, the whole pitlane has done a lot with their cars in the last few years.”

Fellow BJR co-drivers Macauley Jones and Ash Walsh turned laps in Nick Percat and Tim Slade’s cars during the test as they prepare for September’s Sandown 500.

Jones, who will race as a wildcard in the upcoming OTR SuperSprint at The Bend, also briefly sampled the CoolDrive entry.

Percat's car ran in its new Mobil colours

Also on track on Tuesday were Walkinshaw Andretti United, running a full two-car test, and rookie day runners Erebus Motorsport, Garry Rogers Motorsport and Tickford Racing.

WAU had all four of its drivers present, with co-drivers Warren Luff and Jack Perkins joining primaries Scott Pye and James Courtney.

David Reynolds and Garth Tander were on hand to do their maximum permitted 10 laps for rookies Anton De Pasquale and James Golding respectively.

Tickford gave Richie Stanaway the entire day in the #56 RABBLE.club Falcon, which it fielded alongside its Dunlop Super2 car for Thomas Randle.

All five teams are expected to return to the Victorian venue early next month for the traditional pre-Sandown test.

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