Tim Slade says partnering reigning Supercars champion and Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 winner Scott McLaughlin in next year’s Pirtek Enduro Cup won’t provide any extra pressure.
The two-time Supercars race winner has been signed by Shell V-Power Racing to replace Alex Premat, who has partnered McLaughlin for the last three seasons at the team, including this year’s Great Race triumph.
Joining the current champion will ensure all eyes will be on the 34-year-old former Brad Jones Racing driver to perform in next year’s Pirtek Enduro Cup, although Slade is unfazed by the pressure of driving for the reigning Bathurst winners.
“It is no different to anytime you chuck the helmet on and get driving,” Slade told Speedcafe.com, when asked about the pressure of driving with McLaughlin at a top team.
“You don’t think about what the situation is, you always try to get the most out of what you have got while making the least amount of mistakes.
“I want to be achieving the same things as the team and Scotty and I’ll do everything I can to fulfil that I guess.
“I’m excited about what is ahead for me. Being in this position next year and teaming up with Scotty at Penske is a really good opportunity for me to have a genuine crack at winning a few races and obviously the biggest race of the year.”
Slade’s transition to a co-driver role alongside McLaughlin will be aided by an already established friendship with the 26-year-old that was forged when the pair were both employed by Stone Brothers Racing in 2011 and 2012.
Back then McLaughlin was embarking on campaigns in Super2 while Slade was racing in the top tier.
“We have been mates for a long time,” added Slade.
“We actually shared a truck for some of that period (at SBR) so there is no dramas there.
“It is pretty cool to be able to do it with a mate.”
The Pirtek Enduro Cup will begin with a brand new endurance race next year courtesy of the OTR The Bend 500 at The Bend Motorsport Park from September 18-20.