The newest Gen3 Supercar has hit the track, with the Blanchard Racing Team testing its new Mustang for the first time.
Chassis BRT002, which will be shared by BRT Super2 driver Aaron Love and the returning Jake Kostecki, rolled out at Winton Motor Raceway on Monday.
The new Ford ran today complete in black, and was adorned by Love’s surname and the #7.
The full sponsor line-up and livery for the entry will be unveiled on Saturday September 6.
Love and Kostecki will be engineered by Chris Fitzgerald, who has overseen Love’s Super2 maiden campaign this year.
BRT will run two cars at both the Penrite Oil Sandown 500 and Repco Bathurst 1000, with BRT Co-Principal Tim Blanchard joining Todd Hazelwood in the #3 CoolDrive Ford.
The two BRT Fords will share a pit boom during the races.
It has been a big week for BRT, which recently announced it will expand to two full-time main game entries from 2024. The Box Hill team acquired a Teams Racing Charter from Tickford Racing, which downscaled to two cars.
In announcing the wildcard, BRT said the extra car for the 2023 enduros was the next logical step in its plans to become a two-car team.
“The wildcard program is another key step in the expansion of BRT,” Blanchard said at the time.
“The resources in preparing a second car is not small but that’s why we are keen to utilise this program to develop the team.”
BRT has returned the #7 to the fold, with the number competing for the first time since Andre Heimgartner raced it with Kelly Grove Racing in 2021.
The #7 was long associated with the Kellys, with Todd Kelly using it between 2008 and 2017 before Heimgartner joined in 2018.
The #7 has twice won the Great Race, most recently with Steven Richards, Greg Murphy and Gibson Motorsport in 1999. Bob Morris and John Fitzpatrick carried the #7 to Bathurst victory in 1976.
It wasn’t the only wildcard on track on Monday, with Craig Lowndes and Zane Goddard getting behind the wheel of the third Triple Eight Chevrolet at Queensland Raceway.
It was the third test day for Lowndes and Goddard in the #888 Supercheap Auto Camaro, with the former pleased with the day’s running.
“Today we’ve been really getting down to the fundamentals as well as practicing driver changes and pit stops,” Lowndes said.
“Tomorrow will just be continuing to build on everything we’ve been working on today. Also working with Wes [McDougall, race engineer] to keep doing suspension development in the sense of changes, seeing what the car likes, what it doesn’t like.
“Although it doesn’t relate directly to Sandown here at Queensland Raceway it still helps us to understand how the car reacts with changes and I feel like we’ve got a good understanding of that side of it.
“I’m really looking forward to finishing all those programs off tomorrow and getting down to Sandown.”
BRT002 will return to Winton Motor Raceway alongside main game Victorian teams — and the Hazelwood/Blanchard car — for enduro testing on Tuesday.
The #888 Supercheap Auto Camaro will also be in action at Queensland Raceway on Tuesday.