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Slade is excited about the future


Thomas Miles

Tim Slade has finally settled on his future in the build-up to the Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500 home race and is hoping to use that positive vibe to finish 2022 on a high.

​​​​​​​Despite being on track to give the team a top-10 finish in the championship in just its second year, Slade found that by the Bathurst 1000 he lost his place at Blanchard Racing with Todd Hazelwood in 2023.

Things got worse for the No. 3 Ford GT Mustang as incidents and problems dominated a difficult weekend that saw him finish 19th in The Great Race and drop him to 11th in the championship.

But there was some good news last week when it was announced that Slade’s next chapter would take place on PremiAir Racing where the 37-year-old will act as an experienced manager in an inexperienced team.

Tim Slade will hand over the keys to the Blanchard Racing Ford GT Mustang to Todd Hazelwood next year. Photo by Mark Horsburgh

This will be his eighth change of camp in his career, but he believes it could be one of his happiest as he will be playing for a team based in his hometown.

“It was great to finally announce my move to PremiAir Racing in 2023,” he said.

“Having a team based here on the Gold Coast will be cool because it’s only 20 minutes from home and they’ve got some good things going on.

“Gen3 is also exciting, but the immediate focus is to finish this year as well as possible.”

The Supercars grid will line the streets of Surfers Paradise for the first time in three years and many have missed it.

Tim Slade has loved the streets of Surfers Paradise since his first race there in 2009. Image: Mark Horsburgh/LAT Photographic

Especially Slade, who is looking forward to tackling the rigors of a race weekend from the comfort of his own home, and will occasionally swap four wheels for two.

“I’m excited to be back racing on the Gold Coast because it’s a mega event and it’s definitely at the top of the favourites,” he said.

“I live only 10 km from here, so it’s always nice to ride my bike and sleep in my own bed.”

Slade has enjoyed some success on the streets of Surfers Paradise with a particularly memorable weekend in 2014.

Driving a Walkinshaw Holden VF Commodore alongside Tony D’Alberto, Slade was on fire over the weekend, finishing third and fourth in the grueling 300km enduro.

He returned to the podium in the wet in 2017 with super saber Andre Heimgartner and also had four top-10 finishes.

Tim Slade walked the water to get a surfboard at the 2017 Gold Coast 600 for BJR. Image: Daniel Kalisz/LAT Images
Link: Digital Image 211017_VASCR12_DKIMG_2188.jpg

Slade said the 2.96km bullring-style street course offered a big challenge for drivers with plenty of overtaking opportunities but little margin for error.

“What makes the event so special is the atmosphere where everyone is having a great time, but from a rider’s point of view the track is great fun,” he said.

“It always makes for good racing, and what’s a little bit different from normal is the single-driver racing, which will be pretty grueling.”

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