COOLDRIVE: A CULTURE OF MOTORSPORT

Motorsport has been an intrinsic element in the business of CoolDrive Auto Parts for as long as anyone can remember

Three generations of the Blanchard family (left to right): John Blanchard Senior, John Blanchard and Tim Blanchard.

Now one of Australasia’s largest automotive parts distributors, the 100 percent family owned and operated business has been involved in motor sport in various ways since its inception in 1977.
CoolDrive company founder John Blanchard Senior has been involved in rallying, hill climbing and circuit racing as both a driver and mechanic, and today is well known for his work as a patron and advisor with the Victorian Historic Racing Register.
John Senior’s son, also John, is the current CoolDrive Auto Parts Managing Director and was a successful racer in Formula Ford before later enjoying several seasons racing BMWs and Commodores in Touring Car events.
CoolDrive branding has long been a feature of many liveries as well, with various sponsorships including naming rights of the Jayair Junior Sprint Classic, one of Australia’s biggest karting events.
Third-generation racer Tim Blanchard, John’s son, was also a well-regarded Supercars driver for five years after a very successful career in Formula Ford here and in the UK before taking the pragmatic decision to take a step back from his racing at the end of 2018 to concentrate on the family business and his current role as Queensland Regional Manager for CoolDrive.
Promising youngster Macauley Jones stepped into Tim’s Brad Jones Racing-run Team CoolDrive Supercar as a rookie to contest the 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship. The 25-year-old finished a strong 21st in the CoolDrive Commodore in the title and now aims to utilise lessons learned to improve that outcome this season.
Along with the high profile Supercars program, many of CoolDrive’s staff are also personally involved in the sport at different levels and also with car clubs and in the collecting and showing of significant vehicles. Others are four-wheel-drive enthusiasts or simply maintain a ‘weekend car’ for the enjoyment of motoring.
In 2004, CoolDrive sponsored then employee, James Small’s Formula Ford assault. James has since taken on the role as Crew Chief for Martin Truex Jnr in NASCAR.
“Our history with the sport emphasises the importance of motorsport to CoolDrive’s company culture,” Managing Director, John Blanchard, said.
“We see Motorsport as a platform to promote our brand and to demonstrate the performance and quality of our products, and it speaks directly to our customers … the majority of whom we’ve learned along the way are interested in the sport in one form or another.
“That’s why it’s important to us to have a spread of involvements.”
CoolDrive Auto Parts offers the trade a comprehensive range of automotive air conditioning, rotating electrical, electrical accessories, engine cooling, engine management, underbody, braking and suspension products through its more than 30 branches in Australia and New Zealand.

For more from CoolDrive, visit www.cooldrive.com.au