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Tander: No more Triple Eight advantage in Tasmania

10 May 2023
Triple Eight has won 25 of 36 races since 2007
3 mins by James Pavey
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The introduction of Gen3 has wiped away much of Triple Eight’s advantage at Symmons Plains, says Garth Tander.

Triple Eight has had a stronghold over the Launceston circuit, which will host next weekend’s NED Whisky Tasmania SuperSprint.

Since 2007, Triple Eight drivers have won 25 of the last 36 races at Symmons Plains, including 16 of the last 20.

Shane van Gisbergen won all three races in 2022, and has won five of the last seven.

Broc Feeney also drove at Symmons Plains for the first time in his career, but managed a front-row start and a first Supercars podium.

Jamie Whincup won a record 13 races in Tasmania between 2007 and 2021, with Craig Lowndes winning five, all with Triple Eight.

Tander first drove a Triple Eight car in Tasmania during a co-driver session in 2019, and was blown away by how the team extracted performance at the 2.4km circuit.

However, given all that’s new with Gen3, and with Erebus Motorsport stepping up, Tander believes Triple Eight could be brought back to the pack.

Van Gisbergen uses the side draft on Davison

“The great thing about Gen3 is it’s all new,” the five-time Bathurst winner said after the Perth finale.

“The first time I drove a a Triple Eight Red Bull Commodore properly was at Symmons Plains.

“I was like, ‘Geez, I shouldn’t have bothered racing against these guys for the last five years’.

“The cars were that good down there, and Shane proved that last year with three wins.

“But all that’s gone now, all new set-up theory, all new set-up that they’ll need at Symmons Plains.”

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Tander also drove the Gen3 Camaro prototype in Tasmania last March, with Marcos Ambrose driving the Ford prototype.

There, Tander felt how the cars were sliding around and could follow closely together, which he believes will contribute to closer racing.

“The first time we’ve run the car at such a tight hairpin, which is so critical,” said Tander, who won seven races in Tasmania.

Van Gisbergen leads Feeney last year

“High brake energy, high braking stability, good drive traction, you’re going to need everything going for you.

“The lap times were tight here — they’ll be even tighter at Symmons Plains.

“What advantage they’ve had in the past is gone. They’ll be strong but they won’t have the same advantage they had there in the past."

He added: “The racing will be fantastic down there, there’ll be no aero wash.

“You’ll be able to follow closely. The cars will move around more.

"Traditionally at Symmons Plains, we haven’t seen a lot of tyre degradation because the cars didn't move around.

“There’s potential that we’ll see all new strategy, all new everything."

The 2023 Repco Supercars Championship will resume at the NED Whisky Tasmania SuperSprint on May 19-21.

Tickets for the event are on sale on Supercars.com and Ticketek.com.

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