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Saturday, May 25, 2024


THE Blanchard Racing Team has lost Brendan Hogan to the automotive side of the CoolDrive business.

Hogan was last year appointed as the inaugural BRT team manager, joining from Tickford Racing where he had been employed as a race engineer.

It was through illness that Hogan missed the recent Sandown SuperSprint, but he will continue to be absent from Repco Supercars Championship events going forward.

“Brendan is still very much a part of CoolDrive and the wider business,” team owner Tim Blanchard told V8 Sleuth.

“We had a role that needed to be filled in our four-wheel-drive division and Brendan is passionate about his four-wheel-driving and camping, so it was a good opportunity for him to spend a bit more time with his family and take on a new project.”

In Hogan’s absence, the team manager duties will be shared by Blanchard and Mathew Nilsson, while Chris Fitzgerald will again engineer Tim Slade at Pukekohe.

With Mirko De Rosa not due to return trackside from back surgery for another month, Fitzgerald oversaw a sixth-place finish at Sandown – the best result for Car #3 since Albert Park in April – with assistance from Wally Storey.

Storey won’t make the trip to New Zealand.

Tim Blanchard embraces Tim Slade. Pic: CoolDrive Auto Parts

“Mirko will be back at the track for Bathurst and we’ll have some other announcements very shortly as well on that front,” said Blanchard, who added he’s not concerned by the latest reshuffle involving Hogan.

“It probably looks a bit disjointed from the outside but there’s a clear plan internally – a strong business plan and growth plan for the team and the CoolDrive business which we’re executing.

“We’re pretty confident we’re heading in the right direction and with the right tools and people in place.”

Another question mark is who will replace Slade, who’s tipped to join PremiAir Racing next year, given the anticipated favourite Lee Holdsworth announced his retirement this week.

“We’re just finalising what we’re doing,” Blanchard noted of its 2023 driver situation.

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