Tim Blanchard will drive the #& Jack Daniel's Racing entry at the final V8 Supercars round at Sydney Olympic Park

Kelly Racing reserve driver Tim Blanchard will get one last outing in the team’s #7 Jack Daniel’s Racing Holden Commodore in the final round of the V8 Supercars Championship.

The 25-year-old has been the stand-in for regular driver/owner Todd Kelly since the ArmorAll Gold Coast 600 event in October after Kelly was forced to undergo major shoulder surgery.

Blanchard served as an endurance race co-driver for Kelly Racing at Sandown and Bathurst, and subsequently appeared as the sole driver for the remaining rounds at Abu Dhabi and Winton.

In making the announcement Kelly Racing had declared it was prepared to offer the #7 seat to a high-profile international driver for this weekend’s final round at Sydney Olympic Park, but was unable to secure one instead opted to keep Blanchard in the team’s final outing with Holden, before switching to Nissans next year.

Tim Blanchard“We always were considering our options, but keeping Tim was the most consistent option for us,” team co-owner Rick Kelly told the Speed Café website.

“Homebush is almost the most difficult track that we go to, so it was decided that having someone in the car who knows the team, knows the cars and knows the track was the best option.

“We’ve been happy with Tim’s progress,” Kelly added. “He was only a tenth off me in Sunday qualifying at Winton, so that shows he’s coming to grips with it.”

Blancard – winner of the 2007 Australian Formula Ford Championship – has spent the past three years racing in the V8 Development Series while dovetailing this with co-driver roles in the top-tier championship.

He is also hotly tipped to be in the frame to land a full-time drive in 2013 with Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport, which will expand to a two-car outfit after buying one of Paul Morris Motorsport’s Racing Entitlement Contracts.

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.