Slade: No déjà vu to Race 1 last year

Picture: CoolDrive Auto Parts Facebook

Blanchard Racing Team driver Tim Slade hopes a stunning first qualifying of the year can have a happier ending than 12 months ago.

Slade put the CoolDrive Mustang on the front-row for its debut race last year at Mount Panorama and was competing for a podium placing late in the piece before crashing out heavily – to the point where that chassis would be sidelined for many months.

Fast forward to Race 1 of the 2022 Repco Supercars Championship and again the BRT was punching above its weight, grabbing third on the grid after blitzing this afternoon’s Top 10 Shootout at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Slade hopes there’s a very different ending this time around, and in any case noted the feeling is not one of déjà vu to Round 1, 2021.

“It’s kind of polar opposite really,” he told

“With the car and the track, I suppose history shows that the Tickford cars always have been strong at Bathurst for quite a while now, whereas here I was actually rolling into the weekend probably not with a massive amount of confidence.

“We wanted to get some new bits in the car which just for a couple of different reasons we didn’t manage to get in.

“I was happy with qualifying, I think if we all get it together that’s where we should be, eighth, and then Mirko [De Rosa, engineer] tuned it up a little bit again from qualifying to the shootout and found some more speed.

“Stoked with P3. To be second row of the grid is an awesome result. It’s just a nice way to start the year off.”

The BRT is again running a Tickford Racing chassis this year, but now with a Dick Johnson Racing/Herrod Performance Engines powerplant.

While Slade starred, Tickford suffered, with James Courtney qualifying the best of their four cars in 15th.

Race 1 starts at 19:10 tonight (local time/AEDT).

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