Tim Slade will make his full-time return to Supercars next year driving a Ford Mustang as the standalone entry for the new Blanchard Racing team.
The team will utilise a Tickford-built Mustang that was formerly steered by Will Davison under the 23Red Racing moniker.
For Slade, the 35-year-old step out of a full-time role at the end of the 2019 championship season when he split with Brad Jones Racing.
This year he had a one-off appearance at the Bathurst 1000 with DJR Team Penske. Partnered with defending race winner Scott McLaughlin, the duo finished fifth overall.
Ex-Tickford engineer Brendon Hogan will guide Slade as the team manager for the season.
“I’m super happy to be joining the Blanchard Racing Team,” Slade said.
“The fit is perfect for me, and I’m genuinely excited and proud to represent not only BRT but also the Blanchard family and the CoolDrive business.
“To have the race team workshop inside of the CoolDrive headquarters in Melbourne is cool and gives the staff something that no other sponsor of the sport currently provides.
“Tim [Blanchard] has done a great job of putting it all together, and I can honestly say we have all of the right ingredients to achieve some good things.
“Supercars is an extremely competitive and tough category, so we’re under no illusions that it’s going to be easy, but in saying that, I’m excited to show everyone what we’ll be capable of.”
A two-time winner in the Supercars Championship, Slade is a seasoned driver who boasts upwards of 330 race starts.
This year he was also set to embark on his maiden 24 Hours of Le Mans voyage in a HubAuto Corsa Ferrari. Unfortunately, those plans were laid to rest amid international travel restrictions.
Co-Team Principal Blanchard says the new team will provide an exciting challenge, which he is eager to see unfolds throughout its debut season.
“For CoolDrive Auto Parts and the entire Blanchard family, this announcement is the result of a long-term commitment to Supercars racing, and is very exciting for all involved,” Blanchard said.
“We joined with Brad Jones Racing in 2016 in a customer relationship, it was a good run over those years, we learned a lot, but now it is time for us to stand on our own two feet.
“Our long term vision by investing in a Racing Entitlements Contract was to one day control our destiny, with Supercars still providing the perfect platform to promote our core automotive business.
“We’re investing strongly in this project with high-quality equipment, a top-line facility, and very skilled people.
“We also thought it fitting to rename the outfit to Blanchard Racing Team to appropriately reflect the entire Blanchard family’s involvement in the team, and passion and commitment to the sport. Motorsport is who we are, it’s in our family’s DNA.”
Blanchard Racing will have their first hit-out next year for the Bathurst 500, which kicks the new season into gear over February 27-28.