After fleeting full-time stints at Dick Johnson Racing and Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport, Tim Blanchard has finally found continuity with a second season at Brad Jones Racing with his own license, giving birth to Tim Blanchard Racing. We profile the second-generation racer in issue #97.
Issue #97 is your must-have guide to the new season, including full-field driver profiles, team-by-team changes and event previews. Included with the print edition is a 2017 Freightliner-backed Supercars calendar fridge magnet and V8 champions and Shane van Gisbergen poster.
Issue #97 is on sale now in stores with the digital edition available in the official V8X app (in the App Store and Google Play), online at DigitalEdition.V8XMagazine.com.au and in the Magzter app store.
CLICK HERE for more information on issue #97.
Blanchard candidly admits his results need to be better in 2017 if he's to have a long-term future as a driver in Supercars, despite purchasing a Racing Entitlements Contract (REC) from Super Black Racing at the end of 2016.
The REC provides the Brad Jones Racing driver with a license to race, ensuring the team's stability as family-business CoolDrive sees commercial benefit in its continued association with the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.
While CoolDrive plans to be around in the long term, the 29-year-old is quick to point out that purchasing a REC isn't about securing his own driving career.
"The main reason for buying the license is that the whole family enjoys being involved in everything," says Blanchard.
"My grandfather and father have had extensive experience in motorsport... from a personal driving point of view I wouldn't say my results at this stage have been up to scratch and I feel like I have a lot more potential in me and hence why I'm going around this year. But if we get to the end of this year and the results haven't improved... then I'm not just going to do it for the sake of it. I'm not here to make up the numbers; I want to get results and be competitive."
Blanchard says a repeat of last year's results, 23rd in the standings, would not be a pass mark in 2017.
"I need to be qualifying better," he says. "I'm not unrealistic. I'm not in a position where I'm going to go out and win races. I'd obviously love to and I'm determined to get to that point. Realistically, we need to have more top-10 results, we need to get off the back row of the grid and really start knocking out quite a few top-10 results."
The Victorian is keen to put some leaner times behind him after single-year deals with Dick Johnson Racing in 2013 and Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport in 2015.
"I think while the Dick Johnson Racing and Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport years were very good experience, they were also quite tough," reflects Blanchard.
"There were a lot of external challenges with those teams going through a bit of turmoil off track at the beginning of those years, so I'm enjoying BJR, which is a stable environment."
CLICK HERE to purchase issue #97 to read the full feature.