Tander: Last year's results irrelevant for HRT

  • 19/04/2015
  • By V8 Supercars
  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

Improvements to the Holden Racing Team Commodores are so significant that last year's results do not have any bearing on how the team will fare in 2015, Garth Tander believes.

With his home race next on the V8 Supercars calendar, West Australian Tander sits fourth in the points after finishing all six 2015 Championship races in the top 10, including third and fourth in the big points-paying Sunday races at the Clipsal 500 and Tasmania SuperSprint.

Tander out-qualified teammate James Courtney in Sunday's race in Tasmania, despite admitting to a driver error in the session, which gave his crew an advantage when selecting race strategy for the 200km mixed tyre run.

Such a positive start to the year has been welcomed - and now Tander looks to turn around his form at his home race at Barbagallo Raceway, where he suffered from a tyre puncture and was unable to crack the top 10 in 2014's three races.

"The car we've got this year is very different to the car we had last year," he told v8supercars.com.au.

"You don't really go to any event now with any pre-conceived ideas based on how we ran there the year previously, really, until the second half of the year where we started improving the car."

The team went through a major overhaul over the off-season, with team boss Adrian Burgess declaring the cars would have completely different technical specifications for 2015 - and Tander's words seem to confirm the changes are working.

The number one priority for the Commodore VF for Perth - more grip.

"The balance of the car is not too bad, just overall, need more grip," Tander said.

"All the little one per centers that add up and make a difference, we'll make sure we work on those and have a better package for WA."

Tander achieved a clean sweep at the West Australian circuit in his Championship year, 2007, which he rates one of his best weekends in a V8 Supercar. But otherwise, results on his home turf have gone begging.

"Obviously I look forward to the event - I love racing there, I really enjoy the track, in a Supercar it's quite fun," he said.

"It'll be a challenging weekend with the tyre allocation, but [it's the] same for everyone and if we can have another strong weekend that will be great.

"We just need to take a little step from where we are right now to the front guys but ... we'll be working pretty hard, so looking forward to it."

Though the 38-year old prefers to keep a low profile in the press, Tander believes he has a real shot at the title this season. After just two point-scoring events, he's not reading anything into the 26-point gap to leader Jamie Whincup - but after racing at the front of the field at both events, the HRT driver is encouraged.

"The four guys we were racing at the front [in Tasmania] are the four guys who are up there in the Championship," Tander said.

"It's early days with that, not too concerned with that, but another solid haul of points on Sunday when the big points count - a pretty solid weekend...

"That was probably the most we could've gotten out of the car - the other guys were just a little bit too fast."

Can Tander claim his first win at Barbagallo since 2007? Stay tuned to FOX SPORTS 506 and Channel 10 from May 1-3 to find out.

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