Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Tander's chasing Winton success

Holden Racing Team driver Garth Tander is hoping for a home ground advantage in this weekend’s V8 Supercar round at Winton Raceway.

November 13, 2012 4:15am

Holden Racing Team driver Garth Tander is hoping for a home ground advantage in this weekend’s V8 Supercar round at Winton Raceway.

This will be the last time Winton will host the exclusive Holden-versus-Ford V8 battle with new manufacturers entering the series next year.

Sitting seventh in this year’s points chase, Tander would love to win his first race of the season, but says testing at the venue is not necessarily a major benefit.

‘‘You have a huge amount of information that’s available to you, but it’s not relevant to the actual race weekend,’’ Tander said.

‘‘You never have the same amount of rubber down on the racetrack on a test day, so the cars always end up different on a race weekend than they are during testing.’’

Tander is expecting a big challenge from HRT’s Queensland rivals, and is keen to defend his home turf.

‘‘There’s always a lot of home ground battles going on; all the teams that test at Winton want to win because it’s their test circuit and all the Queensland teams come down and they want to beat you at your home track,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s a bit like playing footy, you always want to win at your opposition’s home ground, so it’s always a competitive weekend.’’

The 2007 V8 Supercar champion has enjoyed success at Winton before, winning two races in 2007 and taking the overall round win in 2008.

He said the track’s technical nature tends to keep the cars closely bunched, producing exciting racing.

‘‘Winton has always put on fantastic racing, it’s always close, doorhandle-to-doorhandle battles with a lot of pushing and shoving,’’ he said.

‘‘I think you’ll see more of that at Winton, it’s coming down to crunch time in the championship and certainly those who are trying to win the championship will be going for it hammer-and-tongs and those of us who are not really part of the championship fight will be going for it hammer-and-tongs as well, because we want to win some races.’’

While Tander is yet to win a race this year, he thinks Winton is a prime opportunity for HRT to strike back against the competition frontrunners.

‘‘Anyone can be beaten; just because two teams have won all the races this year, doesn’t mean they’re not fallible, and certainly going to our home circuit, we think we can give them a run for their money,’’ he said.

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