Tander battles hard in Townsville

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 13/07/2015
  • By V8 Supercars

Garth Tander's battle with teammate James Courtney in the closing stages of yesterday's race raised eyebrows, but it was an exchange with Shane van Gisbergen that had Tander more perplexed post-race.

The Holden Racing Team and Darrell Lea STIX Commodores had an intense battle mid-race but Tander didn't seem too pleased about the quick Kiwi's tactics as they fought for eighth position in the final race of the Castrol EDGE Townsville 400.

"The one with Shane was strange because he just kept running into me," Tander told v8supercars.com.au post-race.

"It was weird and one of them, he hit me really badly and it bent all the exhaust up - it probably cost us 50 to 60 horsepower when that's happened in the past. So I'm not sure why he was doing that, but I sort of raced him clean yesterday and raced him clean today.

"When I passed him he kept running into me, but anyway, that's the way it goes."

The more nail-biting battle was with 12 laps to go, as teammate James Courtney came up behind the #2 HRT Commodore.

Courtney had caused incidents that took Tander out over the past two rounds, and Tander expressed he wasn't happy with the way his teammate had raced.

But it was a clean exchange between the two former V8 Supercars Champions fighting for a spot on the podium. Courtney continued to move up in the order and finished second - a huge effort after starting 16th for the 200km run.

"The James one, it was just the end of the race and I was third and I wanted to stay on the podium and he wanted to be there - it's all racing," Tander said.

https://twitter.com/v8supercars/status/620135798642311168

"I'm sure there would've been [some nerves in the garage] but we're both professional race car drivers you know, [we] don't worry about what's happened in the past."

Courtney was pressed about the exchange in the post-race press conference, but was brief in his responses.

"I had a faster car at the time and just went past - that's about it," the #22 driver said. His second place finish sees him sixth in the Championship standings and 290 points behind title leader and race winner Mark Winterbottom.

"We're going to race hard, we're really competitive blokes and wanted that podium or [were] racing to hopefully chase down Dave [Reynolds in second]. So I had a better car at the time so got past.

"Everyone's there to compete, I haven't got anything against him, he's got his own race to race as well, so I would've done the same."

Courtney described it as racing "hard but firm".

The second and fourth place finishes were positive for the Holden Racing Team after both cars qualified outside of the top 10.

Walkinshaw Racing stablemate Lee Holdsworth also had a good run in his Fuchs Commodore, qualifying for the ARMOR ALL Top 10 Shootout and finishing seventh.

Stay In The Know
Sign up to the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship Newsletter