The Blanchard Racing Team (BRT) will expand to two cars for the upcoming Supercars endurance races at the Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000, with confirmation that Aaron Love and Jake Kostecki will pilot a second BRT Ford Mustang at the events.
The Western Australian duo will combine for the first time to shakedown the team’s second chassis, codenamed BRT002, the week after Supercars take to The Bend Motorsport Park in August.
The full sponsor lineup and livery for the entry will be unveiled in the coming weeks.
Concurrently, BRT Co-Principal Tim Blanchard will return for his 13th career Supercars endurance campaign, when he lines up alongside regular team driver Todd Hazelwood in the CoolDrive Racing Ford Mustang.
Importantly, the two team cars will share a pit boom during the races.
For BRT, the Wildcard program is the next logical step in the squad’s long-held plans to expand to two full-time Supercars Championship entries.
“We are excited to give Aaron his first opportunity in the main series and welcome Jake to BRT. Both are young guys wanting to make an impression and we are keen to support young drivers by giving them the opportunity,” said Blanchard.
“Expectations are realistic but Aaron has done a great job so far this year and Jake is experienced enough to know what to do, so they could surprise a few people.
“The wildcard program is another key step in the expansion of BRT. 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.
“For myself, I am looking forward to joining Todd and experiencing the Gen3 car. We have driven together before and obviously worked together this year so it should be a fairly simple process which will hopefully work to our advantage.”
For Love, the Sandown 500 will represent his Supercars main game debut following a whirlwind motorsport apprenticeship.
Despite a truncated season in the 2022 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia, the now 21-year-old finished second in the standings, claiming 12 of the 17 races he contested, before moving to BRT’s Super2 program this year, where he has registered a pair of second-place finishes from his first three events in the category aboard his PETRONAS-sponsored Mustang.
“I am really looking forward to the new opportunity to race in the main series and it’ll definitely feel surreal come the Sunday at Sandown, and definitely at Bathurst,” said Love.
‘It’ll be another new challenge but I’m really looking forward to taking it on, and to have Jake in the car as well will definitely be really cool since we’ve been mates since racing in karts.
“The boys have been working really hard to get the car built and everyone is the team is really excited to see it go out on track.”
Kostecki meanwhile will provide experience to the campaign, with the program seeing him make his fifth Bathurst 1000 start.
Cousin of current Supercars Championship leader Brodie Kostecki, the 23-year-old was a full-time driver over the past two years for Matt Stone Racing and Tickford Racing.
“I am super excited to be back racing in the Supercars Championship for the enduro season with the Blanchard Racing Team co-driving with my good friend Aaron Love. I am very thankful to the Blanchard family and BRT for the opportunity,” said Kostecki.
“Gen3 has brought new excitement to the sport, so I am looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of a Mustang and getting some good results.
“I’ve been close friends with Aaron for fair few years. He has done a fantastic job in the Carrera Cup dominating the front of the field and now in his first year in Super2, he’s finding his form very nicely, so I am looking forward to racing alongside him and helping out as much as I can.
“I’ll be going to the workshop soon to meet the whole team, do a seat fit with Aaron and get prepared as much as we can. With being the first year of Gen3 enduros, I am not sure what to expect but the team has done a great job building the car and getting organised for the program.”
After being the first team to hit the track with the Gen3 Supercars platform earlier this year, BRT and Hazelwood have registered three top-ten results to date with the CoolDrive Mustang.
The Supercars season continues on August 18-20 at The Bend Motorsport Park, with Hazelwood looking to add to his multiple top-ten results registered at the venue in 2020.