Slade seeing no disadvantages of being team-mate-less

Tim Slade at the wheel of the CoolDrive Mustang. Picture: Mark Horsburgh

Tim Slade believes the Blanchard Racing Team is in a position where it can afford to gradually lay foundations before needing to expand to two cars.

The CoolDrive-backed squad has been one of the feel-good stories of the year, consistently punching above its weight despite minimal resources on the staffing front.

After walking away from the Mount Panorama 500 season-opener with zero points following a heavy crash while Slade was pursuing a podium, the #3 driver has worked his way back up to 12th in the championship.

Prior to a Sunday shocker at the most recent Sydney Motorsport Park round, Slade had bagged 12 top 10 finishes from the previous 16 races.

While some might argue the disadvantages of running as a one-car team, the two-time Supercars Championship race winner does not see it that way.

“There hasn’t really been any downside to not running a [second] car this year,” Slade told Speedcafe.com.

“It’s not like at any point this year I’ve gone, ‘I wish we had two cars’.

“We really just need to execute properly with one car first.

“I know that has always been the plan all along, not set in concrete, but if there is any consideration of going to another car, we have to be executing everything properly with one car first.

“I’m not sure exactly what the plans are moving forwards. I guess the only thing for us which potentially will be different next year is the pit lane spot, given that we’re sharing this year with Tickford and they’ll be running four cars next year, so how that pans out for us, I’m not really sure.

“It could potentially mean that we have to invest in more equipment and some more people to come away and do the pit stops, which isn’t ideal, but it is what it is.”

BRT does have the benefit of a relationship with Tickford Racing whereby data can be shared in both directions.

“It’s all accessible if there’s anything that we want to see, but we have got some really good people and Mirko [De Rosa, engineer] is a really smart guy,” Slade noted.

“He backs himself and everyone in the team trusts him massively with his direction and whatever else, so it has been really nice to work with someone like that for sure.”

One more round at SMP remains before a return to Mount Panorama for the Repco Bathurst 1000, in which Slade will share his Mustang with team boss Tim Blanchard.

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