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Slade considered quitting before AGP rebound

TIM Slade has made the startling confession that had he not found form at Albert Park, he would have surrendered his Supercars seat.

After a strong start to his tenure at PremiAir Racing last year, Slade slumped in the second half of the season while teammate James Golding trended in the opposite direction.

Even after reuniting with his highly rated former Blanchard Racing Team engineer Mirko De Rosa, Slade continued to be outshone by Golding at last month’s Bathurst season-opener, after which the usually level-headed veteran was visibly agitated.

Undisclosed pre-Albert Park changes however seemed to have helped get the #23 Nulon Camaro driver back on song.

While it was hardly a standout event for PremiAir, Slade did outqualify Golding for three of the four races, and was the lead car at the chequered flag on all four occasions.

Tim Slade aboard the #23. Pic: Supplied/Jack Martin

What’s more is that he felt things finally were making sense again, for the first time in nine or so months.

“I pretty much have been nowhere compared to Jimmy for a long time now,” a relieved Slade told V8 Sleuth.

“There were some changes for (Albert Park) and I don’t know if it’s coincidence or not, but things make sense again and Jimmy and I have the same feedback and the data makes sense.

“If we came here and I was still shit with the changes that were made, then I probably would have told Peter (Xiberras, team owner) to find another driver for the rest of the year.”

Asked if that had genuinely been on the cards, Slade doubled down.

Mirko De Rosa (middle) is engineering Tim Slade this season. Pic: Matthew Paul Photography

“I don’t want to hold him (Xiberras) back,” he said.

“There was probably nothing really left to change. The one other moving part is me.”

All of a sudden, he’s almost back level with Golding in the championship, the latter sitting just two positions and 17 points ahead.

Slade will now look to carry his newfound momentum into Taupō Motorsport Park, where he and Golding turned laps this week in a Toyota 86.

The inaugural ITM Taupō Super400 will take place on April 19-21.

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