Tim Slade at CoolDrive.
Fabian Coulthard at Team Sydney.
David Reynolds at Kelly Racing.
Brodie Kostecki at Erebus Racing.
That’s the way the final places on the Supercars grid for 2021 are looking, although only one deal is currently confirmed.
CoolDrive Auto Parts is finally going public with its plans for a new standalone squad next year, cutting its ties to Brad Jones Racing but taking on former BJR racer Tim Slade to lead the one-car outfit.
Slade, who most recently was fourth at the Bathurst 1000 as co-driver with Scott McLaughlin in a Shell V-Power Mustang, will continue as a Ford driver in 2021 but at the wheel of a Tickford-built Mustang with a Tickford engine.
Slade will carry #3 for the newly-formed CoolDrive Auto Parts-backed Blanchard Racing Team, with its race base at CoolDrive’s head office in Melbourne.
There is no news yet on a pitlane position or a boom-share deal or pit-crew, but CoolDrive team co-principal, former racer Tim Blanchard, said it’s a major move for his family and their company.
“Our long-term vision by investing in a Racing Entitlements Contract was to one day control our own destiny, with Supercars still providing the perfect platform to promote our core automotive business. We’re investing strongly in this project with high-quality equipment, a top-line facility, and very skilled people.
“We also thought it fitting to re-name the outfit to Blanchard Racing Team to appropriately reflect the entire Blanchard family’s involvement in the team, and passion and commitment to the sport. Motorsport is who we are, it’s in our family’s DNA.”
Slade is returning to a full-time ride in the main game after losing his place at BJR at the end of 2019, then signing as an enduro co-driver with DJR in Queensland. He has made 334 starts for two wins, two pole positions and 17 podium finishes.
“I am super happy to be joining the Blanchard Racing Team. The fit is perfect for me and I’m genuinely excited and proud to not only represent BRT but also the Blanchard family and the CoolDrive business,” said Slade.
“To have the race team workshop inside of the CoolDrive headquarters in Melbourne is really cool and gives the staff something that no other sponsor of the sport currently provides.”
Apart from Slade and Blanchard, the new team has confirmed that Brendan Hogan will be switching from Tickford Racing to become the Team Manager.