Tim Slade is the latest V8 Supercar driver to join the Bathurst 12 Hour grid after completing a deal to race Tony Walls’ Objective Racing McLaren 650S.
The recently confirmed Brad Jones Racing V8 Supercar recruit will team up with Holden Racing Team co-driver Warren Luff, Porsche Carrera Cup ace Matt Campbell and Walls at February’s Mount Panorama GT classic.
Slade has already stood on the podium at the Bathurst 12 Hour having finished second in 2012 behind the wheel of the Erebus Motorsport Mercedes SLS, followed by a sixth on his last event appearance in 2013 with the same operation.
The South Australian-raised driver will fill the seat vacated by David Reynolds, who had been poised to drive before signing up with Erebus Motorsport.
After missing the last two editions of the Bathurst 12 Hour, the 30-year-old Slade is eagerly anticipating the chance to again challenge himself against GT racing’s elite.
Slade joins fellow V8 Supercars main game drivers Craig Lowndes and Garth Tander as confirmed starters for February’s race.
“The whole V8 deal was the priority to get together first and then for sure the 12 Hour was something I really wanted to get back into,” Slade told Speedcafe.com.
“I was lucky enough to do the event with Erebus in 2012 and we finished second, but I think we should have won the race in 2013 with Lee (Holdsworth) and Peter (Hackett).
“GT3 cars are awesome to drive and it is a great event, and it is something I would like to do more of if I can outside of V8 Supercars.
“It is going to a be a strong combination with the drivers that are involved and Andy (McElrea) runs a pretty good show. I think the whole thing is a strong combination.
“There are lots of strong car and driver combinations but 12 hours is a long time. I think we are going to be as best prepared as we can be with a competitive car and a good driver line up.”
Slade is expecting to jump in the McLaren to familiarise himself with the machinery before February’s race.
Car owner Walls believes the driver line up has the credentials to succeed in the mountain marathon.
“I think we are in a good position. We have obviously got a team of guys that have done plenty of miles certainly Luff and Slade have done lots of miles at Bathurst,” Walls told Speedcafe.com.
“I think we have picked the team on that basis and Matt Campbell has been super quick and just seems to get better every time he gets in the car. We have certainly got the right driver line up.
“Whilst we have got an outright opportunity, there is a chance to run in the Pro-Am category too due to how the driver seedings work.”