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HomeNewsSlade to make Trans Am debut in one-off outing

Slade to make Trans Am debut in one-off outing

SUPERCARS veteran Tim Slade will make his Trans Am debut next month at Symmons Plains.

It’s the 37-year-old’s second straight appearance at the annual AWC Race Tasmania, having kickstarted his 2022 with a S5000 cameo.

This will again be a one-off as Slade turns out for new Trans Am team The Racing Academy, established by Tom Williamson and Doug Westwood.

He’ll then make way for teenager Elliott Cleary, who is not yet quite old enough to be eligible to race in Trans Am and will instead take over from Round 2 at Phillip Island.

Slade, who will have karting world champion Cody Gillis for a teammate, will nevertheless continue his association with the team beyond Symmons Plains in a mentoring capacity.

“Having been through the ups and downs of climbing the motorsport ranks myself, especially when you don’t have a lot of money, it can be hard to make the right decisions straight out of karts,” said Slade.

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“It’s cool what Tom, Doug and their team have put together.

“It’s awesome that Tom has the ability to nurture the talent in karts and keep them in his system for those next steps after karting, and potentially all the way to Supercars and beyond.

“I haven’t driven a Trans Am properly, but I’ve always been a big fan of the class. It seems to be the best value for money category in the country.

“The cars look good, sound good, the racing always seems to be entertaining, and outside of a Supercar, it’s potentially the closest thing you can get to one.

Slade has joined PremiAir Racing for the 2023 Repco Supercars Championship

“For me, I want to do as many miles as I can, now that we only have 12 race meetings and a few test days, so extra miles for me is the aim and something that I’ll look at doing for the rest of the year.

“It’s perfect to do at the start of the year when you’ve had three months off.”

Williamson hailed the PremiAir Racing driver’s addition.

“I’ve known Tim for years and I know that he is going to be a great mentor for the young drivers in the new academy,” said Williamson.

“He’s a no bullshit kind of guy. He’ll tell them when they’re doing a good job, he’ll tell them when they are not, and importantly, it’s something that he we wants to do.

“Giving him this drive at Symmons Plains will certainly help give him a feel of the cars so he can relay the best information to the young guys.

“The idea of the academy is to get them from karts to Formula Ford, teach them the fundamentals of so that they have the best chance of keeping their career progression on track.

“I feel Trans Am a really good series and gives them a base of skills that gives you future options. You can go to America, you could go to Super2 or Porsche.

“Cody has been racing karts worldwide for a number of years, and anything he has touched, he has won. He hasn’t had great opportunities, but his experience will put him in a strong position in Trans Am.

“He has mentored Elliot the last two years in karts, so it was a no-brainer to have them linked up this year.

“When Elliot jumps into the Trans Am, I know he is going to fast straight away, and having guys like Tim and Cody in his corner will help with his transition.”

Race Tasmania will take place across February 24-26.

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