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Jul 01, 2014 - 06:51 AM
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Blanchard Tools Up for V8 Utes Townsville Weekend
Posted by: newsla on Jul 01, 2014 - 06:50 AM
Sports Cars
Blanchard Tools Up for V8 Utes Townsville Weekend


Former V8 Supercar driver, Tim “The Toolman” Blanchard, will step out of retirement and into a V8 Ute this weekend for Round 4 of the 2014 Australian V8 Ute Racing Series – fuelled by Hogs Breath Café at the Castrol Townsville 500, 4 – 6 July.

 

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Blanchard last drove in the Sydney 500 last December and after a six month sabbatical is keen to get behind the wheel again.

“It’s been at least six months since I last drove, so I’ll be dusting off the old suit for this one and I’m looking forward to it,” said Blanchard.

This will be the 26 year olds fourth outing in a V8 Ute, he drove the Auto One Wildcard at Hidden Valley Raceway in 2011and 2012, and debuted in the Series at the 2010 ARMOR ALL Gold Coast 600. This weekend he will steer the CPS Products/ Fightweb Holden prepared by Williams Race Tech, making this his fifth year racing at the Townsville Street Circuit (2013 V8 Supercar, 2010, 2011, 2012 V8 Development Series).

“It’s one of my favourite events, the whole town gets behind it. It will be a bit of a learning curve this weekend as I’ve heard the Utes have changed quite a bit since I last drove, with a new clutch and suspension package, but it will be exciting to see what the changes are like. It’s always challenging with the close racing in the Utes, which is what I enjoy most,” said Blanchard.

This will be Blanchard’s third time racing with Williams Race Tech, and although there’s no time for testing, Team Manager Wayne Williams is confident the Melbournite will put in a great performance.

“I’m confident he’ll do well this weekend, he’s learnt a lot since he’s been away racing in the V8 Supercars and I think he’ll surprise a lot of people,” explained Williams.

Blanchard raced full-time last year in V8 Supercars for Dick Johnson Racing, placing 26th overall in his debut year. He also raced in the V8 Supercar Development Series 2010 – 2012, and drove with Rick Kelly in the endurance races, putting in such a great performance that he was called up to replace Kelly after he was plagued with injury for the final three rounds of the 2012 season.

In 2007, he won the Australian Formula Ford Championship, placed 2nd in the British 2008 Formula Ford Championship and 3rd in the 2008 British Formula Ford Festival. He was named the 2010 Fujitsu V8 Supercar Rookie of the Year.

See below full race schedule:
Friday, 4th July Practice 1 8:30am
Friday, 4th July Practice 2 12:15pm
Friday, 4th July Qualifying 3:20pm
Saturday, 5th July Race 1 8:15am
Saturday, 5th July Race 2 12:35pm
Saturday, 6th July Race 3 10:15am

Race 1 and Race 3 will be televised live as through 7Mate, Race 1 Saturday, 5th July at 12pm AEST and Race 3 12:30pm AEST (check local guides).

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