HRT hungry for Holden's 500th

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 31/03/2016
  • By Kassie Gadeke

Holden’s 500th win is on the line this weekend and Holden Racing Team duo Garth Tander and James Courtney will be pushing to grab it.

There are 14 Holdens in the field but only two in the factory HRT squad, which has a rich history at the Symmons Plains circuit in Tasmania.

Tander is one of the most successful drivers at the track, equal third with Peter Brock on the winners list with seven victories to his name.

“The opportunity to win Holden’s 500th V8 Supercars race win would be awesome,” the 2007 champion told  

“It’s one of those quirky stats that you grab it while you can during your career. Then when you look back ... when you’ve finished driving and are sitting on the couch trying to tell your kids how awesome you were – ‘look, I got Holden’s 500th race win’ would be a really nice stat to have.

“As it stands right now, every Holden driver in pit lane is pretty keen for Saturday afternoon’s race because they think they can grab it right there and then.

"It’d be a nice one to have.”

Victory on Saturday would not only be a great story for Holden; it would break a winning drought for Tander that stretches back to Townsville 2014.

He is fourth on the list of drivers with the most wins in a Holden, behind legend Mark Skaife, and current stars Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup. 

“It’s been a little while between drinks for race wins, but certainly the cars are heading in the right direction and we’re starting to get a bit of momentum going in the race team to start having more consistent race wins,” Tander said.  

“Here we are at Symmons Plains this weekend, which is a track we’ve had a little bit of success at over my career. 

“So, it’d be nice to grab a race win, break the drought a little bit and also grab Holden’s 500th win while we’re at it.”

For Courtney, taking the stat would mean winning his first ever V8 Supercars race at Symmons Plains.

“It’d be great, that’s why I’ve been holding out and haven’t won here before, I’ve been holding out for that 500th,” he joked.  

“In all honesty, it’s a credit to Holden – it shows how much money, and how many years they’ve been pumping it into our sport and we’ve got so much to thank them for.

“The sport wouldn’t be what it is if it wasn’t for the money those guys have pumped in over those years. So to take that 500th for Holden would be fantastic, and also to have the Holden Racing Team win it, would be great.

“So if I can’t do it hopefully Garth can and we’ll see what happens.”

The two drivers that sit ahead of Tander on the tally for wins at Tasmania are Whincup and Lowndes, also Holden drivers and key rivals of HRT.

Whincup and Courtney had an edge-of-the-seat battle on Saturday at the Clipsal 500 and Courtney was the only man to stop Whincup’s championship run from 2008 to 2014, snatching the 2010 title.

“There’s only one factory Holden team and that’s ours,” Courtney said.

“But the other guys are doing a fantastic job. They’ve won a lot and have beaten us the last couple of years.

“This year we’ve had a pretty good run so far at the start of the year.

“We’ve had a couple of great races with Jamie so far this year. We’ve just got to make sure we keep pressing away and chase those guys down and make sure we come out on top.”

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