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HomeNewsHazelwood hails BRT's Gen3-leading build

Hazelwood hails BRT’s Gen3-leading build

BLANCHARD Racing Team recruit Todd Hazelwood is excitedly awaiting the prospect of being the first driver to steer a Gen3 race car.

There’s every chance BRT will be the only team in action at Winton Motor Raceway on Wednesday as it shakes down its newly built CoolDrive Mustang, BRT001.

That follows all four Queensland-based teams having to postpone their shakedowns which were initially slated to take place today at Ipswich.

BRT yesterday completed a seat fit for Hazelwood and fired up its engine for the first time this morning.

“The team at BRT have done an incredible job and to be on track for Wednesday was always the plan and we’re certainly well on target to achieve that,” Hazelwood told V8 Sleuth.

“It has certainly been a lot of long hours and a lot of long nights, the crew here haven’t stopped working day and night.

“It has been an impressive amount of work achieved in a short space of time, even since I have been here in the workshop for three weeks, so it has been really cool to see and the car progress is coming along nicely.

“I can’t wait to get this new rocket out on track Wednesday and get a feel for it and see what it can do and break it in for its first laps.”

Todd Hazelwood

Hazelwood is now sensing an opportunity to make a mark early in the season before bigger rival teams catch up.

“It’s a great feeling knowing that I will be one of the first cars out on track for this season and just getting that extra week or two’s knowledge under our belt to be able to understand how everything reacts and moves around in this car is going to be key,” he said.

“For us being a single-car team, we don’t have any additional data coming in from another teammate or a satellite program – we’re not aligned with anyone, it’s our own program for this season – so for us it’s crucial that we’re out there on the first test day to give ourselves the best possible chance of having good success, particularly at the start of the year.

MORE: Erebus wary of ‘unfair’ early Gen3 testing

“Obviously putting a race car out on track and getting it built is one thing but refining it and understanding the set-up, getting spares built up and actually getting it ready for a race weekend is a totally different prospect.

“So there’s a lot of work that still needs to be done between now and Newcastle and we’re just trying to do everything that we can to give ourselves the best possible chance of starting the year strong.

“For me personally, it is a fantastic opportunity and I’m doing everything I can in return to follow suit with the program and be in the best possible shape, best mindset to come out of the blocks swinging at Newcastle.”

BRT’s Gen3 Ford Mustang. Pic: CoolDrive Auto Parts

Hazelwood’s only prior Gen3 running came aboard the Camaro prototype, during his time with Chevrolet-aligned Matt Stone Racing.

The 2017 Super2 Series champion will have respected race engineer Mirko De Rosa by his side this year.

“Mirko’s attitude and commitment and mindset towards going racing and getting success is second to none and from what I’ve seen so far, he has got all of the key attributes that I look for to have as an engineer and more,” added Hazelwood.

“He brings a lot to the table so it gives me great confidence going into the start of the season that I know I’m going to have the right support behind the desk when it comes to race time to give me the best car possible.”

While most Victorian teams have been tight-lipped over their testing schedules following a revision to the rules, the Queensland quartet of Dick Johnson Racing, MSR (both February 7), Triple Eight and PremiAir Racing (both February 9) are planning shakedowns next week.

Newcastle will host the first race weekend of the Gen3 era on March 10-12.

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