live Infotainment Factory: Bathurst star's response to ruthless axing

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Thursday, 11 April 2019

Bathurst star's response to ruthless axing


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Three-time Bathurst champion Garth Tander says he’s come to terms with the fact he’s no longer a full-time Supercars driver, just three months after his sudden axing by Garry Rogers Motorsport.

The 42-year-old was set to drive a final season for GRM in 2019, but was replaced in January by Richie Stanaway, ending a full-time career that included victory in the 2007 Supercars championship, as well as Bathurst 1000 wins in 2000, 2009 and 2011.

He’s subsequently been picked up by Triple Eight to partner Shane van Gisbergen in the endurance races, and says the transition from full-time to part-time has been relatively smooth.

“It’s been an adjustment, but I’ve been busier this year than ever before” Tander told Wide World of Sports.

“It’s amazing the different opportunities that have popped up. I haven’t had a chance since January to sit down and be bored. It’s an adjustment, but I’m not missing it.

“This year was always going to be my last year anyway, so my mind was already processing the fact that my full-time career was coming to an end, it just happened 12 months earlier than we expected.”

Tander was behind the wheel of the Triple Eight Commodore last week at Symmons Plains, with co-drivers given a session to keep their eye in ahead of the endurance races later this year.

For Tander, it was a new experience, having been a fierce rival of Triple Eight during his career.

“It was interesting, because as soon as I did about three laps the penny dropped, and I was thinking ‘ah, now I know why these cars are so fast.’

“They’re a class team, everyone knows that, so having the opportunity to spend time around the garage was good.”

Tander will be back on track this weekend at Phillip Island, up against wife Leanne in the Toyota 86 racing series. It’s a single make series which pits up-and-coming drivers against a couple of more experienced pros, in this case Garth and Leanne Tander.

For Garth, beating the rising stars of the sport will be important, but not as important as earning bragging rights in the family.

Leanne and Garth Tander embrace.

“This is the first time Leanne and I have had a real opportunity to race against each other, we’re only really worried about one other car, and that’s each other!” he said.

“It will be fun to race against everyone else in the category, they race these cars on a more regular basis, so while we’ve got a bit more motorsport experience, the drivers in the Toyota series probably have more experience with these cars, given they’re in them more regularly.

“It will be interesting to see how that equalises over the course of the weekend.”

Garth says their two children are keen to find out whether Mum or Dad will be able to claim bragging rights as the best driver in the family, although according to Leanne, both drivers are trying to paint themselves as the underdog.

“I think Garth is talking himself down a bit!” she told Wide World of Sports.

“He’s trying to make out that he won’t go well, but I reckon he’s going to smash it in the first session! Nobody wants to talk themselves up and risk being embarrassed!”

Leanne, herself an accomplished racer who drove at Bathurst in 2001 and 2009, says the series is the perfect way to get started in the sport.

“They all have to have the roll cage built to a certain specification, they have to buy all the things like brakes and exhaust from the same place, so everyone has the same equipment. There’s only a small number of modifications you can make, so it’s a very level playing field,” she said.

“All the cars are pretty much the same, so it gives the drivers a chance to develop their racecraft against drivers in the same type of car.

“It’s at an affordable price, a lot of up and coming drivers can’t necessarily afford something like Carera Cup, so it’s a chance to race at a national level in front of Supercars teams that they might one day like to drive for.”

Garth and Leanne Tander will go from husband-wife to rivals.

While Garth’s Supercars career came to an end a year earlier than planned, Leanne does just enough racing to keep her eye in, without committing to a full time role.

“For me I’m not doing much regular racing,” she said.

“It’s a lifestyle thing, I’ve got two young kids and I’m studying as well. I don’t have the time and energy to pursue the sponsors to go racing, so for me it’s about opportunities like this, which I’ll obviously jump at.”

This weekend’s race at Phillip Island is the first of five rounds of the 2019 championship, with the series continuing at Townsville in July and Bathurst in October, before concluding with rounds at Sandown and Newcastle in November.

Three-time Bathurst champion Garth Tander says he’s come to terms with the fact he’s no longer a full-time Supercars driver, just three months after his sudden axing by Garry Rogers Motorsport.

The 42-year-old was set to drive a final season for GRM in 2019, but was replaced in January by Richie Stanaway, ending a full-time career that included victory in the 2007 Supercars championship, as well as Bathurst 1000 wins in 2000, 2009 and 2011.

He’s subsequently been picked up by Triple Eight to partner Shane van Gisbergen in the endurance races, and says the transition from full-time to part-time has been relatively smooth.

“It’s been an adjustment, but I’ve been busier this year than ever before” Tander told Wide World of Sports.

“It’s amazing the different opportunities that have popped up. I haven’t had a chance since January to sit down and be bored. It’s an adjustment, but I’m not missing it.

“This year was always going to be my last year anyway, so my mind was already processing the fact that my full-time career was coming to an end, it just happened 12 months earlier than we expected.”

Tander was behind the wheel of the Triple Eight Commodore last week at Symmons Plains, with co-drivers given a session to keep their eye in ahead of the endurance races later this year.

For Tander, it was a new experience, having been a fierce rival of Triple Eight during his career.

“It was interesting, because as soon as I did about three laps the penny dropped, and I was thinking ‘ah, now I know why these cars are so fast.’

“They’re a class team, everyone knows that, so having the opportunity to spend time around the garage was good.”

Tander will be back on track this weekend at Phillip Island, up against wife Leanne in the Toyota 86 racing series. It’s a single make series which pits up-and-coming drivers against a couple of more experienced pros, in this case Garth and Leanne Tander.

For Garth, beating the rising stars of the sport will be important, but not as important as earning bragging rights in the family.

Leanne and Garth Tander embrace.

“This is the first time Leanne and I have had a real opportunity to race against each other, we’re only really worried about one other car, and that’s each other!” he said.

“It will be fun to race against everyone else in the category, they race these cars on a more regular basis, so while we’ve got a bit more motorsport experience, the drivers in the Toyota series probably have more experience with these cars, given they’re in them more regularly.

“It will be interesting to see how that equalises over the course of the weekend.”

Garth says their two children are keen to find out whether Mum or Dad will be able to claim bragging rights as the best driver in the family, although according to Leanne, both drivers are trying to paint themselves as the underdog.

“I think Garth is talking himself down a bit!” she told Wide World of Sports.

“He’s trying to make out that he won’t go well, but I reckon he’s going to smash it in the first session! Nobody wants to talk themselves up and risk being embarrassed!”

Leanne, herself an accomplished racer who drove at Bathurst in 2001 and 2009, says the series is the perfect way to get started in the sport.

“They all have to have the roll cage built to a certain specification, they have to buy all the things like brakes and exhaust from the same place, so everyone has the same equipment. There’s only a small number of modifications you can make, so it’s a very level playing field,” she said.

“All the cars are pretty much the same, so it gives the drivers a chance to develop their racecraft against drivers in the same type of car.

“It’s at an affordable price, a lot of up and coming drivers can’t necessarily afford something like Carera Cup, so it’s a chance to race at a national level in front of Supercars teams that they might one day like to drive for.”

Garth and Leanne Tander will go from husband-wife to rivals.

While Garth’s Supercars career came to an end a year earlier than planned, Leanne does just enough racing to keep her eye in, without committing to a full time role.

“For me I’m not doing much regular racing,” she said.

“It’s a lifestyle thing, I’ve got two young kids and I’m studying as well. I don’t have the time and energy to pursue the sponsors to go racing, so for me it’s about opportunities like this, which I’ll obviously jump at.”

This weekend’s race at Phillip Island is the first of five rounds of the 2019 championship, with the series continuing at Townsville in July and Bathurst in October, before concluding with rounds at Sandown and Newcastle in November.

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