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New era debuts, Blanchard Racing Team first to test Gen3

The first Gen3 chassis outside of the two test models will have its first run today at Winton when the Blanchard Racing Team’s Ford Mustang completes its shakedown at the Victorian venue.

A small team led by engineer Mirko De Rosa has constructed BRT001 of which it teased early in the new year without its rear wing.

The sole one-car entry in the Repco Supercars Championship field will be the first to turn a wheel in a non-prototype Gen3 chassis as an early transition to the new regulation ruleset is one of the contributing factors to the Blanchard Racing Team being ahead of the game in some respects.

Going it alone for the 2021 season after being a long-time fixture at Brad Jones Racing, the Blanchard Racing Team caused a stir immediately when Tim Slade qualified fifth at the opening round, the Repco Mount Panorama 500.

The dream qualifying result did not convert in the race as Slade hit the wall hard entering Forrest’s Elbow during the opening event, forcing the new team to miss the second race.

Fourth was the best result scored by Slade during the team’s maiden season as he finished 12th in the standings.

Slade improved marginally in 2022 to 11th, but still failed to breakthrough for a podium or race win and moves to PremiAir Racing for this season.

It will be all new for the Blanchard Racing Team as Todd Hazelwood joins the squad in 2023 from Matt Stone Racing leading it into Gen3.

The team can run an unlimited amount of laps after a Supercars Commission meeting removed the 60km shakedown distance requirement ensuring all squads moving forward have the best opportunity to get the new Mustangs and Camaros ready.

The opening round of the Repco Supercars Championship is in Newcastle on March 10-12.