Positives to take out of Bathurst 1000 debut for BRT

The #3 Ford Mustang of Tim Slade and Tim Blanchard. Picture: Mark Horsburgh

Tim Blanchard says he can’t be too disappointed with CoolDrive Racing’s ninth-place finish in their first Repco Bathurst 1000 considering where the team has come from.

The Blanchard Racing Team only recently celebrated its first birthday, and this year’s Bathurst 1000 marked the first endurance campaign for them.

By and large, it was a trouble-free run for Blanchard and primary driver Tim Slade in the #3 Ford Mustang on their way to the top 10 finish.

However, there were mixed feelings for the team having been one of the best teams on one-lap pace.

“It was definitely the best car I’ve had here,” Blanchard said on Supercars Trackside.

“It wasn’t as good at the end of the race unfortunately. We started out very strong and I think as the track evolved throughout the day our car didn’t evolve like everyone else’s.

“We were probably in a good spot and it kind of slipped away in the last half of the race.”

All told, ninth in the Great Race was enough to secure Slade a finish of 12th in the drivers’ championship.

Blanchard said he can’t be too disheartened with the end result, but knew the team was capable of more in the season finale.

“It’s a bit of mixed emotions, isn’t it? I think if you said at the beginning of the year, when we started building a workshop, that we’d be in the top 10 at Bathurst and 12th in the championship we would have been pretty pleased with that,” added Blanchard.

“Knowing what potential we had this week here, we’re probably a bit disappointed. There’s a lot to do over Christmas, and we’ll come back and have another crack next year.”

CoolDrive Auto Parts recently brought Mathew Nilsson into the fold as its business development manager.

Nilsson has been absent from the Supercars paddock for the best part of a year after parting ways with Walkinshaw Andretti United where he was co-team principal.

He was present for the Bathurst 1000, hailing the Blanchard Racing Team for its meteoric rise.

“I’m new to the organisation, but what these guys have achieved is phenomenal really,” said Nilsson.

“It’s a small little team and John [Blanchard] and Tim [Blanchard] have run a good ship. Brendan [Hogan, team manager] and Mirko [De Rosa, race engineer] and all their guys, it’s just a phenomenal effort to achieve what they have.

“It’s a credit to them because they just get in and get the job done. Good leadership from Brendan and Mirko for some of the young guys to train them up.

“That’s what it’s all about, training the young guys up and giving them an opportunity and they’ve all grabbed it with both hands. I think it’s a real credit to the results they’ve achieved.”

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