Blanchard more nervous as a team leader than a driver



Tim Blanchard (right) kisses pilot Tim Slade in Townsville

Tim Blanchard admitted that life as a Supercars team manager is a lot more stressful than being behind the wheel.

The transition lasted a few years for the 2007 Australian Formula Ford champion, having stepped back from full-time racing in late 2018.

At that time, the race rights contract owned by the Blanchard family was housed with Brad Jones Racing, where he would stay for the next two seasons to support the car driven by Macauley Jones.

This REC was then moved last summer to form the Autonomous Blanchard Racing team, with Tim Slade hired to make his comeback in Supercars aboard the # 3 Ford Mustang.

After a dreamy, nightmarish start at Mount Panorama, the one-car team gradually moved up the ranks to have Slade 17th in the championship thanks to a solid double header from Townsville.

All in all, it’s a whole new experience for Blanchard.

“It’s definitely a very different dynamic… going from a full-time driver to a team role,” said the 34-year-old driver during a team managers video chat on the official Supercars website. .

“So you still get that competitive edge – to be honest with me, I’m just as excited or probably more excited to see Sladey up front than when I had a good day driving myself.

“It’s actually a lot more nerve-racking.

The Mustang CoolDrive # 3. Photo: Mark Horsburgh

“The warm-up lap in the car, you don’t really think about it, you just follow the procedure to get ready for the race.

“When you’re standing in the garage watching the warm-up lap and the lights are about to go out, you get pretty anxious, pretty nervous. So it’s quite different but I wouldn’t say it’s less stressful.

As for the results on the track, Blanchard believes there is still room for improvement.

“I guess we’ve had a year of ups and downs,” he added.

“I think we’ve improved the consistency over the last few laps but yeah I think for us if we can keep knocking out some top 10 results consistently in the first year that would be really good and hopefully that maybe we can also land a podium at some point.

“It’s obviously pretty competitive and we need a few things to move forward and there are a few aspects of the team that we still need to improve to get there.”

Blanchard will co-pilot with Slade in the Repco Bathurst 1000 from November 4-7.


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