Blanchard more nervous as a team boss than driver

Tim Blanchard (right) embraces driver Tim Slade in Townsville

Tim Blanchard has admitted life as a Supercars team principal is more far stressful than being behind the wheel.

The transition was a few years in the making for the 2007 Australian Formula Ford champion, having stepped back from full-time racing at the end of 2018.

At that point in time, the Blanchard family-owned Racing Entitlements Contract was housed at Brad Jones Racing, where it would remain for the following two seasons to underpin the car driven by Macauley Jones.

That REC then was moved last summer to form the standalone Blanchard Racing Team, with Tim Slade hired to make his Supercars comeback aboard the #3 Ford Mustang.

Following a dream-turned-nightmare Mount Panorama debut, the one-car squad has gradually clawed its way back up the pecking order to have Slade 17th in the championship on the back of a strong Townsville double-header.

All in all, it’s been quite a new experience for Blanchard.

“It’s definitely a very different dynamic… moving from being a full-time driver into a team role,” the 34-year-old said in a team principals’ video chat on the official Supercars website.

“So you still get that competitive side of it – to be honest for me, I get just as excited or probably more excited seeing Sladey up the front than when I had a good day driving myself.

“It’s actually a lot more nerve-racking.

The #3 CoolDrive Mustang. Picture: Mark Horsburgh

“The warm-up lap in the car, you don’t really think about it, you’re just going through the procedure getting ready for the race.

“When you’re standing in the garage watching the warm-up lap and the lights are about to go out, you get quite anxious, quite nervous. So it’s quite different but I wouldn’t say it’s less stressful.”

As for how the on-track results have been, Blanchard feels there’s still room for improvement.

“I guess we’ve had a pretty up and down year,” he added.

“I think consistency we have been improving the last few rounds but yeah I feel like for us, if we can continue to knock out some top 10 results on a consistent basis first year, that would be really good and I’m hopeful that we can maybe snag a podium at some point as well.

“It’s obviously pretty competitive and we need a few things to go our way and there’s a few aspects of the team we still need to improve to achieve that.”

Blanchard will co-drive with Slade in the Repco Bathurst 1000 on November 4-7.

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