Pic: CoolDrive Auto Parts
ALL eyes will be fixed on the Blanchard Racing Team today as it leads the Repco Supercars Championship into a new era.
Against a backdrop of consistent delays and setbacks, Supercars’ smallest team will become the first to shakedown a Gen3 race car (ie a non-prototype which will actually be on the Newcastle 500 grid).
It’s a remarkable feat for an outfit which has regularly had trouble finding enough staff even for just its one car.
The ability to hit track today at Winton has been put down to a particularly early shift in focus to Gen3, hard yards, and the connections of BRT’s parent company CoolDrive Auto Parts, which is a major supplier for the wider project.
There have been questions raised as to the legitimacy of its plans and whether there’s even a benefit to being first out the gate, but for now BRT will bask in the spotlight as the industry keenly watches on.
A team which is still hunting its first podium, and with a driver yet to taste main game victory, is about to be inundated with attention.
It’s set to become the first to complete a livery reveal.
Soon after, it will be the first barometer of just how much work is needed on these new Supercars.
With the 60km limit no longer applicable to shakedowns, how many laps will the CoolDrive Mustang turn?
How prominent will teething issues be?
How quickly can focus move towards performance?
And how can BRT put their headstart to effect with Newcastle fast approaching?
The answers should slowly start to formulate once BRT001 fires up in a matter of hours.