Tim Slade got behind the wheel of his brand new Lucky 7 Racing Ford Falcon FG V8 Supercar in a shakedown at Queensland Raceway this week and revealed his new racing colours ahead of this weekend's season opening test day in Melbourne.
The Stone Brothers Racing built Lucky 7 Falcon is set to be the last current-specification car to be built before the next generation Car of the Future debuts next year and the 20-lap 'shakedown' went without a hitch.
“The first laps in the new car were pretty cool, it’s a shame that we only get 20 laps,” said Tim Slade.
“I'd love to spend all day out there, but we have plenty of time for that at Sandown later in the week.
The all-new 2012 Lucky 7 livery is set to debut at the first round of the season in Adelaide early next month, with Slade joining up with his Stone Brothers Racing stablemates Lee Holdsworth and Shane van Gisbergen.
“I think the livery looks fantastic,” Slade continued. “I thought last year's car looked pretty cool, but I had a chance to look at the new car from a distance and it really stood out on the track.
“For Lucky 7 the key is to have a car that looks bold and stands out well, I think this has been achieved.”
Having finished 2011 in the top 10, his best ever season, Slade has set himself more ambitious goals for 2012.
“We finished ninth last year, we have to better that,” said Slade.
“Last year we showed flashes of form but we need to improve our consistency week in week out.
“I'd expect a top eight this year in the championship, a few more podiums and we’ll be chasing for that first win pretty hard as well.”
Lucky 7 Racing Team Principal Ross Stone was happy with the car but his main goal is to see Slade take the next step in his career.
“Definitely we need to take the next step, and Tim needs to do the same as a driver, which I believe he can,” said Stone.
“We are strong as a team, the engineering team is great and as long as we are all doing the simple things OK we’ll be on the money in 2012.”
Slade's engineer Wes MacDougall has echoed the thoughts of Stone, believing that they have built a very strong, competitive car that will provide Slade with the consistency needed to attain his pre-season goals.
“We need to improve our qualifying, but Tim's shown, and the car has shown, that when we get it right we are really close to Triple Eight,” said MacDougall.
“Improving our consistency is what we need.
“We are striving to make sure that the car will be as good as it can be and beat (Triple Eight) as well.
“The (Lucky 7 Ford) looks nice; hopefully it'll go as quick as it looks.”