Tander: I'm back!

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 07/07/2014
  • By V8 Supercars

A resurgent Garth Tander has declared his intention to race in the V8 Supercars Championship for years to come after a dominant win and two second places at the Castrol 500 Townsville - Driven by TAFE Queensland in his Holden Racing Team Commodore VF.

Tander, who won on Saturday and battled Red Bull Racing's Jamie Whincup fiercely for the win in yesterday's double points 250km race at Reid Park, only recently signed a new two year deal with HRT and its parent Walkinshaw Racing.

And the 37-year old has made it clear he doesn't intend it to be his last V8 Supercars contract.

"I will be going a lot more than another two years," he said. "I don't see any reason not to go a lot more than another two years.

"I don't feel that I need to prove to other people that I am worthy of a spot.

"I think I have the runs on the board and I continue to put the runs on the board."

However, the 2007 V8 Supercars Champion and three times Bathurst 1000 winner acknowledges time will eventually claim him.

"Numbers say that, you can't deny age, you can't deny the date. How long have I been racing? Sixteen or 17 years, I won't be racing another 16 or 17 years, it's just the nature of the sport."

Tander's climb back to form in 2014 commenced in Darwin with consistent top 10 pace after a highly successful Walkinshaw Racing test at Winton in June.

But it was classic Tander at his aggressive best in Townsville, intentionally making contact with Whincup as they duelled under brakes for the lead late in Sunday's Race 22.

"Not so much for today but for the future when I've got a car capable of fighting to the death with I will continue to fight," he said.

"We knew what the end result was going to be but I just wanted to send a small message to him and his team boss (Roland Dane) that I'm not forgotten about yet."

Those comments proved that Tander has lost none of his legendary pugnaciousness, despite a horror start to 2014, when he struggled for pace through the Winton, Pukekohe and Perth events.

"It's probably the most I have been tested in my career," he admitted. "But I had and have some good people around me to help me with that.

"A lot of people said I had forgotten how to drive. You don't forget how to drive."

The Winton test unlocked the speed of the substantially updated Commodore VF for Tander and his new engineer Blake Smith.

"For him as well as me the test at Winton was a big help," Tander confirmed. "The win says what we found at Winton and what we continued to work on at Darwin, we are operating in the right areas.

"Winton was a very solid test and it fixed a few things for me and once we could fix those couple of small things that made me more comfortable in the car," Tander said. "I could start to do with the car what I needed to do and up to that point I felt I wasn't able to do with the car what I needed to do."

Over two V8 Supercars Championship events Tander has risen from 14th to eighth in the points table, but he says he is paying it no attention.

"I wouldn't even know what the points table looks like," he admitted. "The next focus is Queensland Raceway, the main focus is what's in front of me."

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