Blast From Blanchard Past
13 Sep, 2018
This years’ Sandown 500 retro reveal is something quite special for Tim Blanchard and Team CoolDrive. In a throwback to a memorable 1993 livery, he is honoring one of his heroes both on and off the track - his father, John Blanchard.
1993 was John Blanchard’s one and only full-time season behind the wheel in the Australian Touring Car Championship when he was part of the four car Logamo Racing Team. Logamo Racing was the combination of ‘Lo’ Tony Longhurst, ‘Ga’ the late Frank Gardner and ‘Mo’ Terry Morris.
The team fielded 4 BMW M3 Evolution race cars for Tony Longhurst and John Blanchard (replacing Alan Jones) who ran in the famous white and gold colours replicated here, and team-mates Paul Morris and Geoff Full drove in the colorful Diet-Coke liveries.
It was a significant year in the history of Supercars as 1993 was the last time the championship incorporated both the 5-litre touring cars (now known as Supercars), the 2-litre Touring Cars (later known as Super Touring Cars) and the Group A cars.
John competed in 8 rounds and 15 races of the Australian Touring Car Championship, his best finish was 9th at Winton. He also contested at Bathurst with BTCC driver Jeff Allam, crossing the line in a notable 11th position, plus being the top BMW finisher.
John Blanchard said “The M3s were awesome cars. It was the last year of them racing before they introduced the first edition of the Supercar. The BMWs were hit with a lot of weight penalties that year, so I don’t believe they were able to show their full potential and competitiveness. They were a fantastic car, with a strong engine and had quite the fan following.”
“It brings back a lot of memories for me and I’m really proud to see Tim honoring that. I had no idea he was doing it; then I received the mockup and was completely shocked, it was one of those wow moments. I showed the design to Tony Longhurst and he agreed, it’s awesome. I can’t wait to see it on track this weekend. I think a lot of the older guys will get a real kick out of this one.”
Tim Blanchard added “It’s pretty special to honor my Dad’s time in Supercars. The livery is going to resonate with a lot of the old school Supercar fans which is what we believe the retro is all about. We’ve gone old school and kept it personal which makes this a different story from the rest.”
“I was quite young when Dad raced the BMW but it brings back a lot of childhood memories for me trackside. I’ve got photos of me helping clean over the car on race weekends, and I spent a lot of time at Norwell. Dad would be in a debrief and I’d be out in the go-kart.”
“It’s also where I built by relationship with the Morris family. In 2010 Paul sponsored me in the Dunlop Series, driving the Sirromet Supercar plus he gave me my first endurance drive alongside Greg Murphy. He helped me a lot to get my break in Supercars, it all started from there.”
“I’m excited to show off the Team CoolDrive Commodore in the retro colours this weekend, the team have done a great job bringing this to life with PPG and it’ll stand out on track, hopefully for all the right reasons this year!”