Blanchards purchase Super Black REC

Tim Blanchard

Tim Blanchard

Tim Blanchard will continue as the third driver at Brad Jones Racing next season following the purchase of the formerly Super Black owned Racing Entitlements Contract.

Although with an ongoing deal to race at BJR, Blanchard’s position had been under question following Jason Bright’s decision to move his #21 REC to Prodrive.

As previously reported, Bright and his license will slot into the fourth garage at Prodrive previously held by Super Black.

Rusty French, a Prodrive co-owner and long-time friend of Super Black’s late founder Tony Lentino, had initially vowed to keep the Kiwi team going, but funding was unable to be raised to see it continue.

A deal for the Blanchard family to buy the Super Black REC was signed off by the Supercars Board yesterday.

The deal is another key piece in the 2017 Supercars silly season and leaves Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport’s plans as the major unknown.

LDM is understood to have been in talks with the Blanchards about leasing one of its two RECs before the driver’s family moved to purchase the Super Black entry.

Super Black Racing manager Greg Hahn said the team may return in some form in future years.

“We must thank Rusty French for supporting our back-up plan and honouring the commitments of his friend, the late Tony Lentino, with his commitments,” he said.

“Unfortunately though, we just didn’t get the support we needed from New Zealand to continue given the time frame we had.

“It’s disappointing for the team and for our driver Chris Pither, but hopefully it won’t be the last time you see Super Black Racing on the grid line up.

“You could say we are taking a sabbatical and we will reset and look toward a more sustainable New Zealand campaign in the near future.

“These things take time and we would like to think we can get back into the main game at a later date and that we have showed on numerous occasions what the team and Chris have been capable of.”

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