Tim Slade is conscious CoolDrive Racing’s first year as an independent one-car team may have its hurdles, but says he’s buoyed by the proven Ford Mustang package.
Following a year on the sidelines, Slade will make his full-time return to the Supercars Championship with Tim Blanchard Racing in 2021.
Blanchard had run his Racing Entitlements Contract out of Brad Jones Racing since 2017 but has now gone solo with a newly built set-up at the CoolDrive Auto Parts base in Box Hill.
The team has also taken stock of two Tickford Racing-built Ford Mustangs, owned by Phil Munday. However, only one will race full-time in 2021.
Whilst the team is starting afresh, Slade will be complimented by experienced engineer turned Team Manager Brendan Hogan.
Hogan arrived at Tim Blanchard Racing from Tickford Racing having been working with Will Davison under the 23Red Racing banner and later James Courtney with Boost Mobile Racing.
Slade said he’s conscious that there may be hiccups along the way, but said any issues are tempered by the experience around the organisation to overcome those quickly.
“It wouldn’t be a surprise if we had some just some little teething issues early on,” Slade told Speedcafe.com.
“But we’ve got lots of experience between everyone that’s there and we have a little tie-up with Tickford.
“I think the expectation for all the procedures, processes, and everything else is still going to be high, but it’s not like we’re going to throw toys out of the cot if there’s a few little teething issues.
“We know that’s part of the whole learning curve and process, but I don’t expect it to be too much of an issue.”
The team has a loose tie-up with Tickford Racing in so far as the team leasing engines for the forthcoming season.
Ford Mustangs finished first and second in the championship in 2020, with the DJR Team Penske entry of Scott McLaughlin leading Tickford Racing’s Cameron Waters.
Slade said he’s encouraged by Tickford Racing’s recent performance, knowing that the car he’ll have beneath him is capable of being competitive.
“Then it’s not like we’re manufacturing all of our own bits and pieces. It’s essentially a Tickford car, and engine, and it’s all proven stuff,” Slade explained.
“We’ve got some good experienced people that know where things need to be. Yeah, there’s no real excuses on the equipment front.
“During my whole time in the sport, Tickford have always been one of the teams up the front,” he added.
“For a long time there it was Triple Eight and Tickford. Then I guess, DJR Team Penske, they’ve come along, but Tickford have obviously still been up there.
“I think there was maybe a year or so there, where they fell back a little bit, with all those tyre changes around 2017, but it’s pretty cool knowing that you’re going into a package that’s proven
“That’s definitely nice to know. You’ve got some good experience there with Brendan who’s been at Tickford and actually been an engineer on that car.
“Like I said, we’ve got the tie-up with Tickford, and then, we’ve got some other really, really good people. It’s exciting.”