Tim Slade is set to become the latest Supercars star to race in the rival National Trans Am Series.
Like Supercars, the NASCAR-style series features the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro with the addition of the Dodge Challenger.
It will be the first time Slade has competed in the series that raised eyebrows in 2022 when the brakes were put on Shane van Gisbergen attempts to contest the category.
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The three-time Supercars champion and two-time Bathurst 1000 winner was in line to make his National Trans Am Series debut but was reeled back in by his team.
Brodie Kostecki remains the only active Supercars drive to successfully make a Trans Am start.
The National Trans Am Series field files into turn one at Queensland Raceway. (Daniel Kalisz)
Slade will join the newest Trans Am team, The Racing Academy, in a one-off appearance at the Symmons Plains season-opener on February 24-26.
The two-time Supercars race winner will fill in for West Australian Elliott Cleary, who at 16 years old is just shy of the minimum age requirement.
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The team will also field 23-year-old up-and-comer Cody Gillis in the team’s second car.
Following the season-opener, Slade will step into a mentor role with the team to guide its youngsters.
Tim Slade will make his National Trans Am Series debut in 2023. (Photo: Jack Martin Photogaphy)
Slade’s cameo comes courtesy of team owner and renowned karting coach Tom Williamson and business partner Doug Westwood.
“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.
“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.”
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Slade said the opportunity to race in the National Trans Am Series is a valuable one considering how condensed the Supercars calendar is.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
The National Trans Am Series will play support to the TCR Australia Series at Race Tasmania on February 24-26.
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