Blanchard: There’s no excuse not to get good results

The Blanchard Racing Team will be the 25th car in pit lane this year

CoolDrive Racing has no excuse not to get good results in 2022 despite its place at the back of pit lane, says team principal Tim Blanchard.

Last year the team went out on its own, departing Brad Jones Racing after a four-year spell in the Albury stable.

Now based in Box Hill, the team duly formed a technical alliance with Tickford Racing, sharing a pit boom with the former Ford factory squad in the upper half of pit lane.

However, with the Campbellfield-based organisation securing a fourth Teams Racing Charter this year and its two pit bays filled, the Blanchard Racing Team has lost that spot in the pit lane.

With an odd number of entries on the grid, 25 in total, the #3 Ford Mustang has been relegated to the rear of the pit lane on its own.

Despite that, Blanchard is optimistic heading into their second season as a bonafide solo set-up.

“There’s obviously well-documented disadvantages being a one-car team, but I think there’s also a lot of advantages in being a one-car team, which people don’t talk about,” he told Speedcafe.com.

“I don’t see being a one-car team as an excuse for not getting results, because I think there are positives and negatives to both approaches.

“It just means bringing two or three people to every event just to do a pitstop. That’s what it means. It’s just an expense we didn’t really need, but it does mean that we don’t have to worry about stacking. We’ve got full control over our own pit stops. So there are advantages to it.

“I think, probably at the smaller tracks it will be an influence, especially if there’s a red flag or a drying track, for example.

“We might get stuck with only getting one lap when others get two. I don’t think it’s necessarily disadvantageous, but there’s definitely a higher risk attached to being at that end of pit lane.

“That’s the cards we have been dealt and that’s just what we’re going to have to work with.

“Obviously being at the end of pit lane, it’s not ideal. It’s not all bad news and I think we can still deliver consistently, despite that.”

Very little has changed between seasons for the Blanchard Racing Team as far as personnel goes.

Driver Tim Slade, team manager Brendan Hogan, and race engineer Mirko De Rosa have remained, as has the livery by and large.

The only notable change is that of its engine supply, which has switched from Tickford Racing to Herrod Performance Engines. The technical alliance with Tickford Racing has also ended.

“Last year was our foundation year, so we were looking for consistency and weren’t looking for one-off results,” said Blanchard.

“For me, I’m not necessarily about going and winning a race, I want to be consistently there.

“I was really pleased, once the dust settled from the beginning of [2021] – and not just the Bathurst incident – but from having to build all the workshop and get all the staff, and once we kind of got into our rhythm, I think we were consistently around the back of the top 10 and occasionally pushing up in the top five.

“That was really encouraging for me. So for this year, we need to take take a step forward. We were towards the back end of that top 10 consistently last year, and we need to be working towards moving into that top five on a more consistent basis this year.

“It doesn’t matter what sport or business it is. It always takes a few years to gel and build, so we’re looking at consistency.”

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