Hazelwood proud of practice pace
By Mark Fogarty
Saturday 29th April, 2023 - 12:32pm
Solo outsider Todd Hazelwood is not getting ahead of himself after upstaging most of the big names in practice for the Perth SuperSprint at Wanneroo Raceway.
Hazelwood’s single-car CoolDrive Racing Mustang team hit the ground running in Friday’s sole 90-minute session as he finished a close second to pace-setter David Reynolds.
While his early speed was an upset, the squad’s new recruit doesn’t regard it as such a big shock – nor a guarantee that he’ll stay close to the top in Saturday’s three-part qualifying.
“I don’t think it’s a surprise,” Hazelwood told Speedcafe.
“For us being single car team, our rate of learning has been very, very slow. We’ve had to pull apart and pick all the information that we’ve had over the last two rounds.
“We had a pretty firm plan of what we want to achieve in that session and got through some good changes and made a good direction. The key to any good weekend is that when you roll the car out the truck, it’s close, and it doesn’t take too much to tune it up and get it where you need to be.
“So a great start, but it is only practice. And if you look at the guys that are in seventh and eighth, they’re only three tenths away from being fastest as well. So it’s good to be on the on the plus side of the closeness, but we’ll keep our expectations in check for [qualifying].”
Despite slightly playing down his practice pace, Hazelwood allowed that the performance was a morale boost for Blanchard Racing Team, in its third season as a standalone operation.
“Anytime you’re inside the top 10 I think is a good – a great job for any team in pit lane. That whole session was good. We were pretty consistent, so if I can achieve that in qualifying, I’ll have a lot bigger smile than what I’ve got right now,” he said.
“But for now, just keeping everything on the down-low and holding the emotions in check for now.”
Hazelwood joined BRT after his second stint at Matt Stone Racing, replacing Tim Slade.
The Gold Coast-based South Australian is feeling very much at home already at the family run Ford squad.
“It’s been great,” Hazelwood beamed. “I think I look good in blue. The whole team at Blanchard Racing have certainly welcomed me with open arms since day one when I arrived in the workshop in January. It’s been great.
“It’s still early days in our new partnership, but we keep chipping away, doing our thing. We’ll keep our heads down. We’re pretty quiet operators here at the end of pit lane.
“We just keep doing our thing and, hopefully, we can get some good results as the year progresses.”
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