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Wednesday, June 26, 2024


GREEN, black, red, orange and now blue: The Ford Mustang that Tim Slade will drive for the new Blanchard Racing Team in 2021 has worn a few different colours in its time.

It has also had its fair share of high-profile drivers.

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First built as a Ford Falcon FG X in 2016 by Tickford Racing (then named Prodrive Racing Australia) the chassis is codenamed PRA 1520.

Mark Winterbottom at the 2016 Sydney 500. Pic: Supplied

Donning the Bottle-O green, reigning champion Mark Winterbottom debuted the car at the Hidden Valley in June and raced it for the remainder of the season.

That included running a one-off black livery at Bathurst to mark 10 years of the sponsor’s Supercars involvement.

In 2017 PRA 1520 was predominately black once more, moved to the Monster Energy garage for Cameron Waters, who teamed with Richie Stanaway to win that September’s Sandown 500.

Ahead of 2018, the car was sold to Phil Munday, underpinning the panel beating magnate’s new 23Red Racing outfit, and taking on the red and white hues of major sponsor Milwaukee Tools.

Like the Blanchard Racing Team, 23Red was initially established as a standalone outfit with a customer alliance to Tickford.

Will Davison drove PRA 1520 throughout 2018 with moderate success before 23Red was brought in house at Tickford for ’19, ahead of which the chassis was reskinned as a Mustang.

Davison at the 2018 Adelaide 500. Pic: an1images.com / Dirk Klynsmith

Although falling short of a win, Davison scored two podium finishes with the car in 2019, including at Ipswich where he broke his own 1,021-day podium drought.

PRA 1520 was again wheeled out for Davison at the start of 2020, topping the pre-season test at The Bend and qualifying in the top four during each session held across Adelaide and Albert Park.

PRA 1520 topped 2020’s pre-season test. Pic: Supplied

When 23Red Racing folded during the COVID-19 shutdown, PRA 1520 was taken over by James Courtney, returning for the following round in Sydney now in Boost Mobile colours.

Courtney added to the car’s podium tally with a second in the opening race of August’s Darwin Triple Crown and finished in the top 10 at Bathurst alongside 17-year-old co-driver Broc Feeney.

Courtney took over the car from Davison. Pic: Supplied

As previously confirmed by Munday, the car has been leased to the Blanchard Racing Team for 2021, with its stunning new CoolDrive colours revealed on Monday.

The CoolDrive Auto Parts livery features branding from Munday’s Public Brewing Co on its rear quarter panels.

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