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The mastermind behind the Blanchard Racing Team

MIRKO De Rosa has very much become entrenched as the non-Blanchard heart and soul of CoolDrive Racing.

De Rosa perhaps shot to prominence during the inaugural Inside Line docuseries centring around Erebus Motorsport in 2019, when he was race engineer for Anton De Pasquale.

After guiding De Pasquale to a maiden race win at the 2020 Darwin Triple Crown, De Rosa was signed as a foundation centrepiece of the Blanchard Racing Team: a race engineer with a large mechanical role to play.

BRT struggled last year when De Rosa was out of action due to a back injury that required surgery.

TICKETS: Buy your tickets to the Thrifty Newcastle 500

But he is back and firing on all cylinders with Todd Hazelwood his new driver, and played a key role in BRT being the first Supercars team to shakedown a Gen3 race car on February 1.

“I love it,” he told V8 Sleuth of life at a one-car team.

“It’s a small team, there’s only three of us, pushing to try to get the car.

“It’s very enjoyable but at the same time it’s very hard.

Mirko De Rosa (right) with Tim Slade at the 2022 Repco Bathurst 1000. Pic: Nathan Wong

“When you think about it, most of the teams in pitlane have 10 or 12 people per car as an average so we have got a fourth of that.

“So we have got to put a lot more effort in to get where they are but I love it.

“It’s good because at the end of the day it’s down to you and there’s no excuses: if you have a job to get done, you have just got to do it. I really like it.”

De Rosa believes there is still plenty of challenge to enjoy in the Gen3 era when it comes to performance engineering.

“It is like a spec car but it’s a lot of adjustability so it will go down to people’s philosophies and how they think they’re going to make speed out of the car,” he said.

“There’s a lot of adjustability to be able to make a difference.

“You’ve got your ride height, springs, damper clips, suspension points, you can change roll centres, wheelbase, tyre pressures; there’s plenty.”

The 2023 Repco Supercars Championship kicks off this weekend with the Thrifty Newcastle 500.

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