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Blanchard: We can help Hazelwood excel

TIM Blanchard believes his team has the environment which can allow Todd Hazelwood to recapture his 2017 frontrunning form.

Since winning that season’s Super2 title and a subsequent learning year for both him and Matt Stone Racing in the main game, Hazelwood has been mired in the midfield.

He finished 18th in the championship the second time around with MSR, then 17th and 13th in two years at Brad Jones Racing, and now is 18th with one round remaining in his second MSR stint.

Tim Slade’s impending shift to PremiAir Racing, and Lee Holdsworth’s retirement announcement, opened up a surprise opportunity to pursue for 2023.

MORE: Why Slade was convinced about PremiAir

Hazelwood was impressed by the professionalism the Blanchard Racing Team has shown in its first two seasons.

The team is known as one of the best presented up and down pit lane, is planning to expand, has respected personnel such as engineer Mirko De Rosa, and for the most part has been competitive (as evidenced by Slade being a contender for a top 10 championship slot).

So, he had little hesitation to sign up for the CoolDrive Mustang seat.

It’s been a testing second half of the season for Todd Hazelwood. Pic: Tayler Burke

As for Blanchard, he fielded vast interest from the experience of Fabian Coulthard to the youth of Zane Goddard and various Super2 talents… but Hazelwood proved too compelling to overlook.

“He has been in the series for a few years now so he has got enough experience under his belt,” Blanchard told V8 Sleuth.

“I feel like we have got an environment where he can really excel.

“He has shown glimpses of what he is capable of and I think in our environment we can extract a lot more out of him and hopefully he can deliver on the potential he showed in Super2.

“I think he was a good fit for us and we’ll see how he goes.”

Blanchard and Hazelwood co-drove together in the 2017 PIRTEK Enduro Cup.

It’s understood Hazelwood does not have any guarantees for season 2024 just yet.

BRT has committed to running a Super2 program next season before bidding to add a second Repco Supercars Championship entry for the following year.

Hazelwood’s MSR seat is expected to be filled by Triple Eight Super2 driver Cameron Hill.

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