TANDERSPORT TO THE FRONT AS LEANNE TANDER TAKES JOINT LEAD OF AUSTRALIAN FORMULA 3 CHAMPIONSHIP Leanne Tander has flown to the joint lead of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship after scoring more points than anyone else at Eastern...
TANDERSPORT TO THE FRONT AS LEANNE TANDER TAKES JOINT LEAD OF AUSTRALIAN FORMULA 3 CHAMPIONSHIP
Leanne Tander has flown to the joint lead of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship after scoring more points than anyone else at Eastern Creek Raceway at the weekend.
In a fantastic team effort, TanderSport drivers Ben Crighton and Mathew Radisich also excelled in the F3 National Class and posted career-best performances to continue their charge up the ladder in F3's 'race within a race'.
In the #42 TanderSport Dallara F307 -- Mercedes Benz, Tander twice qualified third but made two of her best ever starts since joining Formula 3 to leap into contention on race day.
In race one she flew to second before the race leader was penalised for jumping the start, allowing Leanne to take an unchallenged five-second victory, lapping underneath the existing lap record in the process. It was her third win of the season, her first at Eastern Creek in Formula 3 and her fifth-career F3 triumph. In race two she again made a stunning start and ran consistent laps to ensure a solid haul of second-placed points; enough to put her into a tie with Nathan Caratti for the lead of the Australian Drivers Championship with two rounds to go.
It was the second time this season that Tander has scored more points than anyone in a round of this year's series.
New Zealand driver Ben Crighton posted the best result of his brief F3 career when he raced to second in the National Class, in race one.
Crighton raced ahead of both class championship leaders to score second -- only behind 'ring in' class driver Tim Macrow; the defending outright F3 champion.
In race two a broken exhaust sapped power from Crighton's car but a solid points haul elevated him to fourth in the championship despite not scoring at the previous round at Phillip Island.
TanderSport's recent signing, Melbourne-based Kiwi Mat Radisich, also posted one of his most impressive F3 performances yet with strong results across the board at Eastern Creek.
He twice qualified second in class (only behind Macrow) only to find himself caught up in an opening lap incident in race one -- ending buried in the turn eight sandtrap and several laps behind.
He recovered well from that incident to finish third in class in the second race and consolidate his third position in the F3 National Class series.
The Eastern Creek performance was one of the best overall in TanderSport's short history as a multi-car operation, the team now looking forward to returning to Phillip Island, the scene of the penultimate round of the 2008 Championship to be held between August 8 -- 10.
Leanne Tander - #42 TanderSport Dallara F307 Mercedes -- Benz (145 Points, equal 1st)
"We started slowly but the team has done a fantastic job to get me up here (the podium). It's amazing what a bit of pressure can do to the competition. We closed up 18 points today and we didn't quite have the pace but I'm confident that in the last two rounds we will. We're going to go away and work on it and come out strongly at Phillip Island. Thanks to all the guys, they have been fantastic."
Mathew Radisich - #32 TanderSport / HT Leads Dallara F304 Spiess Opel (76 Points, 3rd in National Class)
"In race one I was in the lead but had a bit of a collision at corporate hill with another car and we went a few laps down, but we had the pace in qualifying which was great.
To split Farrell and Gilmour in race was great, I'm pretty happy with that. Overall it's been a very positive weekend and I'm looking forward to going back to Phillip Island where I think we can be right at the front of the class."
Ben Crighton - #52 TanderSport Dallara F304 Spiess Opel (50 Points, 4th in National Class)
"I'm very pleased. Qualifying was difficult but the first race was a great result and really deserved for the team. We started strongly in the second race but I think the car broke a header pipe and that was the end of that, which was disappointing. We were one of the quickest National Class cars at Phillip Island last time so going into the next round I'm pretty confident that we can get a good result."
Garth Tander -- Team co-owner / Team Manager
"We're pleased. Considering our lack of pace this weekend with Leanne's car we certainly got out of jail. We have a fair idea why we weren't there and we will rectify that for Phillip Island. We kept the pressure on all weekend and Caratti made two critical mistakes and cost himself a lot of points," Garth Tander said.
"We knew Mathew was capable of doing the job and the Island was difficult, but we tested at Winton and worked on his driving and that showed here when he was a few tenths off Macrow in qualifying one. I think that was a fantastic effort and he'll only continue to improve. The team is very excited about his progress.
"Ben has had another up and down weekend but his speed is good. Mathew and Ben are bouncing off each other and we can compare setups between each other which works well. I think he'll go well at Phillip Island -- he was fast in testing before the last round but didn't get the results we hoped for, so we want to turn that around.
"We've got some exciting stuff coming for Leanne's car for both Phillip Island and Tasmania and we need to make sure we keep doing a good job. We know that we have a good car at Phillip Island and we're pretty optimistic about the second half of the year. Really, the championship starts now.