Slade set to defend Time Attack crown

Tom Howard

Tuesday 18th July, 2017 - 4:00am

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Tim Slade pic:Freightliner Racing

Tim Slade has confirmed plans to defend his World Time Attack Challenge crown at Sydney Motorsport Park in October.

The Brad Jones Racing driver is set to team up with the Queensland-based MCA operation to contest the event held from October 13-14.

Slade teamed up with the squad last year as a replacement for Shane van Gisbergen, which resulted in a victory for the South Australian in the Pro Class.

The 31-year-old smashed the time attack lap record by posting a 1:22.19s behind the wheel of a heavily modified Nissan Silvia.

Slade will join reigning Supercars champion Van Gisbergen at the meeting following confirmation the Kiwi will compete for MCA in the Honeywell Garrett International Drift Challenge at the event.

“It was really enjoyable last year,” Slade told Speedcafe.com.

“It is something I enjoy doing and I caught the bug a bit last year knowing that there is more potential in the car.

“Working with a good bunch of people made the whole experience enjoyable.

“It will be nice to do more laps but it is an amazing car to drive.

“It is hard to draw any super close comparisons to Supercars racing because of the differences between the two cars, but it is still a race car.

“You go through the same thing in your head to try and extract the most speed from it.”

Meanwhile, Slade and his BJR squad were set to utilise one of their allocated test days at Winton today before inclement weather forced the squad to reschedule for August 8.

“It would have been nice to have got it in and try and work out the car a little bit better,” he added.

“I’m not stressing about it too much. I think potentially a little bit further down the track we might have a little bit more stuff to try anyway.

“I think every team is in a similar situation in terms of developing this.

“If you don’t develop then you will go backwards. I’m sure there is plenty of stuff in the pipeline, but I didn’t think there are many new components to test today if we are going to test.

“It is about understanding better what we have got.”

Slade is currently the top BJR runner, lying 14th in the standings, having scored three top 10 finishes from the 14 races so far.

This time last year he had scored double the amount of top 10 results, including two victories and a second place finish.

Slade believes his car doesn’t feel too different his Commodore of last year, but the level of competition has increased, leaving the team to search for improvements in all areas.

“There is no particular area we are chasing we just need a bit more in all areas to be honest,” he said.

“I feel if we nail everything then we are good for six or seventh, but if you slightly miss it then you can be 15th or at the back.

“It is super close in that mid-pack area. I don’t find that too dissimilar to last year but the outright pace is probably a little bit faster than last year.

“When Triple Eight is chasing someone you know everyone else is in a bit of trouble.”

The Supercars Championship heads to Queensland Raceway for the Coates Hire Ipswich Super Sprint from July 28-30.