Blanchard name back at Sonic for Formula Ford tilt

Sonic Motor Racing Services’ two Formula Fords

The younger brother of 2007 Australian Formula Ford champion Tim Blanchard will link up with the team which helped deliver that title, in this year’s Victorian championship.

Harrison Blanchard will be part of a two-car attack for Sonic Motor Racing Services which will tackle all five rounds of the state championship, plus selected national rounds.

Being part of a famous Formula Ford family, Harrison has joined father John, the 1992 championship runner-up, in racing in the historic classes of the category.

Previously a karter, and having made a handful of starts in Formula Vee last year when not interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the 24-year-old embarks on a new challenge when Round 1 commences tomorrow at Sandown.

“I certainly have big Blanchard shoes to fill, but I have not grand expectations for results,” said Harrison.

“I just want to prepare myself well and improve every time I get in the car.

“I’ve been doing some historic Formula Ford alongside Dad and Tim, and that has all been in preparation for a stab at an actual championship. I’m really looking forward to it.

“And I have the best team in the field to be a part of, so I know I’m in safe hands.

“I know the Kent-engined cars really well, and I can run inside the top five in those, so I’m keen to see how I adapt to the Duratec cars.

“I’ve never raced outside of Victoria too, so if everything goes well, I’m really hoping to get to a couple of the other circuits around Australia in the national championship.”

Winton Smith will drive the other Sonic entry, during his final year of high school at Penleigh and Essendon Grammar.

“We’ve done one test day in the dry and one in the wet at Winton, so it hasn’t been a lot of driving in the Formula Ford, but enough to give me a head start,” said the 17-year-old.

“I’m really excited and I’m looking forward to it. I just want to learn as the weekend goes on and not make any mistakes.

“Hopefully, that brings a good result, but really, I don’t have too many expectations. Anything can happen, so I’m not placing too much emphasis on results.

“I really like Sandown. I raced Formula Vee there last year. I feel I do reasonably well there, so I’m looking forward to going back into the seat and learning the car at that track.”

Team owner Michael Ritter said, “Our Victorian Formula Ford line-up is a great mix of youth and experience.

“Harrison has been doing plenty of miles in historic racing. He is certainly ready to step up to this level and test himself against the young chargers.

“Winston has really impressed our team. He is level headed and looks like he has a lot of raw ability. We’re looking forward to seeing his progress through the season.”

As Harrison Blanchard tackles Sandown tomorrow, the Blanchard Racing Team will undertake its first official Repco Supercars Championship activity with its pre-season test at Winton.

Victorian Formula Ford Championship 2021 calendar    

Rnd Circuit Date
1 Sandown Feb 19-21
2 Winton Mar 27-28
3 Phillip Island May 15-16
4 Sandown Jul 23-25
5 Phillip Island Sep 25-26

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