Tander: Walkinshaw exit no distraction ahead of Bathurst

Garth Tander says his impending exit from the Walkinshaw Racing set-up won’t be a distraction as he looks to add a fourth Bathurst title later this week.

Tander: Walkinshaw exit no distraction ahead of Bathurst
Podium: race winners Garth Tander and Warren Luff, Holden Racing Team
Race winner Garth Tander, Holden Racing Team
Race winners Garth Tander and Warren Luff, Holden Racing Team
Garth Tander and Warren Luff, Holden Racing Team
Garth Tander, Holden Racing Team
Garth Tander and Warren Luff, Holden Racing Team

Tander was told his services won’t be required at Walkinshaw Racing next season just days after winning the Sandown 500 alongside Warren Luff, leaving the 2007 series champ on the market.

But while he hasn’t hid his disappointment in the Walkinshaw decision, he says he won’t let it distract him as he looks to win a fourth Bathurst 1000, and a third in Holden Racing Team colours, on what will be the current HRT’s final trek to Mount Panorama.

“News of the last week where I won’t be staying at Walkinshaw Racing is disappointing, and probably not the best preparation going into the biggest race of the year,” said Tander. “But certainly as an athlete when you pull your helmet on the last thing you’re thinking about is that.

“You’re focussed on driving racing car the best you can, and focussed on having success at Bathurst. We’ll park all that to one side, and focus on this race.

“To have success this year, for me personally as my last drive full time for HRT at Bathurst, there would be nothing better than to celebrate Peter Brock’s passing 10 years ago than to win it in a HRT car.”

Luck crucial to Bathurst success

While Tander says his Sandown victory gives him the right form heading into the Great Race, he concedes that winning it will require a little bit of luck. At Bathurst, he says, it’s always that way.

“It’s an amazing place that can create the highest of highs, but also the lowest of lows,” he added. Preparation is key, you need a fast car, and a great co-driver – and we have that with Warren Luff.

“You need everything going for you. I’ve been there in other years where you have a fantastic team, and a fast car, but if you don’t have that last bit of luck, then it can really bite you.”

Winning the traditional warm-up at Sandown, however, won’t hurt either.

“The best form to take into the biggest race of the year is winning form, and that’s what we have,” he said.

“So I’m really looking forward to Bathurst, I think we’ve got a car that’s capable of getting the job done.”

 

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