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Hazelwood opens up on 2024 prospects

TODD Hazelwood has not given up hope of retaining his Blanchard Racing Team seat for 2024 amid uncertainty around his Supercars future.

Rumours have been rife that James Courtney and Aaron Love are in line to drive for an expanded two-car BRT next year.

Nothing is official as of yet, though, and Hazelwood is hoping a strong finish to the season – starting with this weekend’s Sandown 500 – can help his case.

“My position for 2024 is still not locked in concrete yet,” he told V8 Sleuth.

“Obviously my desire is to stay with the team here at BRT and we’re working closely with the guys there in trying to achieve that.

“But there’s a lot happening within the four walls at BRT with the expansion and obviously the wildcard for both the enduros so there has been a lot of distractions which, to be fair, I have tried to obviously let Tim and John (Blanchard) focus on what they need to achieve for both this year and next year.

“There’s been a lot going on behind the scenes so I’d like to think trying to be patient and wait for my time to have things sorted will work in my favour.

“But I guess, trying to ensure that whatever I do for next year it’s going to be a good opportunity, and whether that’s in Supercars or not, that’s still not clear for me.

“If it’s not in Supercars next year, try to look at creating a curriculum that will get myself back in the spotlight and try to use it as a year to try to rejuvenate my name and my brand.

Todd Hazelwood (right) with BRT stablemates Aaron Love and Tim Blanchard. Pic: Ross Gibb

“It’s not all negative for me, so I’m just trying to work through the process now. But as I said, the big thing is obviously my desire to stay at BRT.

“We’ve had an up-and-down season. I think the positives probably show that I’m still capable within the sport, but I guess the negatives are there’s been a lot of things happening within the team and the challenges of Gen3 and being a single-car team has had its challenges as well.

DONE DEAL: Tickford Gen3 Mustang heading to BRT

“So for more reasons than one, I’ve sort of felt like I’ve had both hands tied behind my back at stages this year and it has been frustrating but that is the challenge of this sport and I have tried to be positive and do my best for the team and be a team player and try to keep the whole team united.

“I feel like we’re in a rebuild phase now as a team and hopefully we can finish the year off strongly.”

Hazelwood, coincidentally, is sharing his #3 CoolDrive Mustang with BRT co-principal Tim Blanchard at Sandown and Bathurst, making for arguably the perfect opportunity to remind his boss of what he can do.

The #3 CoolDrive Mustang. Pic: Ross Gibb

“I have put a big effort in this back half of the year,” said Hazelwood.

“We had a good test day last week and trying to do whatever I can in the workshop to help the crew out and play my part in trying to put the extra hours in where it’s required to hopefully try to make a difference. And come race day hopefully that will pay off.

“It’s certainly not from a lack of trying, that’s for sure.

“We’ve put a lot of effort in and I’m a big believer that effort will always get the rewards, so hopefully that’s the case for us for the back half of this season.”

Sandown is the first race meeting with two BRT cars on the main game grid, with Love and Jake Kostecki in the sister #7 Racer Industries Mustang.

“Obviously it has been a huge challenge for the team to grow and get the capability in place to have a second car on the grid for this weekend,” Hazelwood added.

“But moving forward that will certainly pay dividends.”

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V8 Sleuth’s coverage of the 2023 Penrite Oil Sandown 500 is proudly presented by Biante – Fuel your passion with winning model cars. Visit Biante here to check out their range of model cars in a range of scales from 1:64 to 1:10.

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