Coronado called up for Freightliner Racing duty
The Albury-based team has switched from black and red to a white and silver livery topped off with a striking new shade of red for the car driven by two-time race winner Tim Slade.
It has also replaced its Freightliner Argosy cabover prime mover with a bold Freightliner Coronado 114, a model with a set-forward front axle that can haul a 34-pallet B-double trailer set.
The team transporter, nicknamed Stax, is driven by Paul Eddy, who clocks up around 45,000km a year behind the wheel towing a B-double trailer loaded with two cars and mass of spares and equipment.
It’s not a heavy combination (around five tonnes shy of its 62.5 tonne maximum weight), offering no challenge for the 15-litre Detroit six-cylinder turbo diesel under the bonnet that generates a healthy 560hp and 1850lb-ft Nm of torque.
Eddie has only done few short stints in his new home away from home, but is looking forward to the 16 rounds he will drive it to this season.
“It looks great going down the road,” Eddy says.
“It always looks cool if you have a couple of stacks sitting behind the doors doesn’t it?”
Eddy had driven an Argosy with a cavernous 110-inch sleeper cab for the last few seasons, but will trade off some of that space for a bonnet with the new Coronado, which has a more modest 34-inch sleeper.
“The sleeper in the Argosy was so big, it had a double bed and it would take me half an hour to get out,” Eddy says with a smile.
“With this, you lose a bit of cabin space but you get a bonnet.”
Eddy praised the way the Coronado 114 drives.
“Geez, it is nice to drive. Just the way it sits on the road; it’s great.” he says.
While the Coronado is available with a fully automated Eaton Ultrashift transmission, Eddy opted for the 18-speed Eaton RoadRanger in order to keep up his shifting skills.
Driving the team transporter is just one part of Eddie’s job description; he also looks after the Freightliner Racing car’s tyres and works the hydraulic jack ‘spike’ in pitlane during stops.
The team’s other driver, Tim Slade, showed plenty of skills last season with back to back wins and a top 10 championship finish.
Slade says he is glad his new number 14 Commodore has a cool paint scheme.
“The Freightliner Racing Commodore looks awesome,” he says.
“It’s so different to what the car has been over the past few years, we’ve had the design locked down for a while now and I’m excited to finally show it off to our Freightliner Racing fans.”
The Brad Jones Racing team used PPG Paints and Roland DG printers for the wraps to bring the design to life.
Slade is looking forward to hitting the track in the new-look car after showing so much promise in 2016.
“We didn’t put too much pressure on ourselves last year, we always wanted to do well and aim for the top ten,” he says.
“We achieved some great results, and this year we’ll be looking to build on that and be more consistent with our speed and good results.”
Freightliner Australia Director, Stephen Downes is looking forward to the start of the season.
“We are really thrilled to see the fantastic new look Freightliner Racing Commodore and introduce the tough Freightliner Coronado to the Supercars paddock,” he says.
“We think Freightliner customers will get a real buzz when they see the 2017 car fighting for more wins and podiums this year.”
The Brad Jones Racing outfit, which runs Freightliner Racing, also uses two Freightliner Argosys for the rest of its Supercars and Dunlop Series racing fleet.
Freightliner Racing’s first test day will be held at Sydney Motorsport Park on February 21, before the opening round of the season, the Clipsal 500 on March 2-5 in Adelaide.