Frosty: Tander is category's best

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 16/09/2015
  • By Kassie Gadeke

Championship leader Mark Winterbottom has declared 2007 champ Garth Tander the best in the business, describing the Holden Racing Team driver as tough but clean.

Winterbottom's comments come after a line from Shane van Gisbergen in the post-race press conference on Sunday, saying Tander would "dive-bomb you for 80th".

When discussed on last night's episode of Inside Supercars, Winterbottom - who has raced against Tander his entire V8 Supercars career - had nothing but compliments to pay the HRT driver, who made up eight positions with Warren Luff at Sandown on the weekend to finish fourth.

"I rate Garth as probably the best racer in the category," Winterbottom said.

"He creates a presence - when he's behind you, you know.

"You've got your guys who'll try and do the bump and runs and all that sort of stuff - he doesn't do that, he can mirror you and then he can dive you."

Speaking to v8supercars.com.au Tander backed himself as a clean racer, and has not received any penalty points this year, while others in the field have been hit for up to 75 points already this season.

"He's normally pretty clean - he is a very good racer," Winterbottom continued.

"So I think when you see him in the mirrors, you know something is going to happen ... he's a hard racer but clean.

"He's got a presence for sure and some guys you do flicker the mirror a few times and with him you're probably in it more than you should be, so he's a good racer."

The comments come sometime after a stoush between Winterbottom's Prodrive stablemate David Reynolds and Tander after the Winton weekend, where Reynolds accused Tander of being a bully - amongst other things.

While Reynolds said on the show at the time 'he wasn't the only one' who felt that way about Tander's racing tactics, last night's episode saw only positive words for the HRT hard man with Nick Percat - who won the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 with Tander in 2011 on debut - echoing Winterbottom's sentiments.

"He's one of the hardest racers on the grid - look at his starts, he goes from qualifying 23rd or something and the end of lap one he's 13th and you go, how has he done that?" Percat said.

"His car placement is very good and like Frosty said, when he comes behind you, you know he's not going to wipe you off the road but he's going to have a lunge.

"He'll take you to the white line, but it will be clean, and he races you hard but fair and if you race him back the same way you can race him all day long. If you give him a little rub up, that's when it can get a little heated the next one, but he's good."

Tander sits sixth in the Championship points and is 581 points off Winterbottom, who leads the way ahead of his Pepsi Max teammate Chaz Mostert.

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