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One eye on 2024 for Blanchard Racing Team

THE Blanchard Racing Team is hoping to use the latter stages of this season to set itself up for a better 2024 Repco Supercars Championship campaign.

It’s been nothing short of a disappointing year for the Box Hill squad.

Having finished top 12 in the championship in each of its first two years with Tim Slade at the wheel, hopes were high for recruit Todd Hazelwood – especially when BRT became the first team to shakedown a Gen3 race car.

But besides a couple of highs, such as fourth place in Perth and a Top 10 Shootout berth at Sandown, it’s been tough going for various reasons, leaving Hazelwood 21st in the points.

Things didn’t get much better at the Gold Coast despite a parity tweak helping fellow Ford squads Tickford Racing and Grove Racing taste victory.

Hazelwood was 19th and 18th in the two Surfers Paradise races, losing several positions late in the Sunday encounter after being spun by Andre Heimgartner.

“A bit of a tough one for us. Then we were in a reasonable position in the second race and Todd Hazelwood got turned around,” BRT boss Tim Blanchard reported.

“We struggled all weekend but we’ve made a bit of progress. We’re already getting to work on expanding to two cars next year.”

There is clearly an eye on 2024, when it will welcome drivers James Courtney and Aaron Love, engineer Raymond Lau, and an ex-Tickford Racing Gen3 Mustang.

“We need to learn as much as we can as we welcome James Courtney and Aaron Love into the team for season 2024,” said Blanchard.

Aaron Love and James Courtney. Pic: Supplied/Mark Horsburgh

One round remains for Hazelwood, who’s resigned to dropping off the full-time grid but has been linked to a possible co-drive at championship-leading Erebus Motorsport.

BRT wasn’t the only Ford squad to struggle at Gold Coast, with Dick Johnson Racing failing to crack the top 10 in either race, and Walkinshaw Andretti United suffering poor race pace/tyre life.

“Not the weekend we were hoping for. We had an encouraging Friday but it didn’t translate,” said WAU team principal Bruce Stewart.

“We’ve now got some solid debriefing and planning to do.

“We want to put our best foot forward for our fans and our partners and ourselves in Adelaide.”

WAU shone last year at Adelaide, Chaz Mostert and Nick Percat delivering a Saturday one-two in the Clayton organisation’s last main game event with Holden.

The 2023 VAILO Adelaide 500 will be held across November 23-26.

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