Tander tests in preparation for Symmons Plains F3 round There's no rest for Fleetcare TanderSport Formula 3 driver Leanne Tander as Australia's fastest female racer heads into this weekend's second round of the Kumho Tyres Australian...
Tander tests in preparation for Symmons Plains F3 round
There's no rest for Fleetcare TanderSport Formula 3 driver Leanne Tander as Australia's fastest female racer heads into this weekend's second round of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship at Symmons Plains in Tasmania.
Only one week after racing in the Formula 3 support events at the Formula 1 Foster's Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, Leanne and V8 Supercar star husband Garth have loaded their Dallara/Holden onto the boat and across Bass Strait for this weekend.
Tander, who sits sixth in the championship after the opening round at Wakefield Park recently, tested yesterday for the first time at the 2.41- kilometre venue outside of Launceston.
It was the 25-year-old's first real meaningful wet weather run in one of the open-wheeler F3 cars, as she continues to gain confidence and experience in the two-litre, winged racing machines.
"I'm happy with how it went on Wednesday," Tander said.
"I usually like the faster circuits but I'm actually quite enjoying it (Symmons Plains). It was really the first time that we were able to get experience in the wet conditions because the last time I drove in the wet it was my first test in a Formula 3 car.
"I think that we have a chance to be very competitive this weekend.
"I feel more confident and comfortable in the car coming straight from racing at the Grand Prix. We had a problem at the start of the first practice so I went into qualifying without any laps at all.
"But by the fourth and final race I was hanging in there with the leaders and ended up fourth after starting eighth. It's good to come straight here and be back in the car a week later and keep my eye in, rather than sit out for a month until the next race."
This weekend's racing marks the first time since 2003 that the Formula 3 cars have visited the Tasmanian circuit, with lap records expected to tumble, thanks mainly due to the resurfacing done since F3's last visit.
Leanne's husband Garth, who will next head to Pukekohe in New Zealand for round two of the V8 Supercar Series but spend this weekend crewing his wife's car, expects the lap record to easily be slashed.
"We were about four seconds quicker here after the resurfacing in the V8s, so I would expect these cars to be able to break the 50-second barrier," the Toll HSV Dealer Team driver explained.
"The grip on the circuit has dropped off by about 30 percent in the few years since they have resurfaced it, but it should still be very fast for these cars."
Fleetcare, Australia's largest privately-owned fleet management company, is the naming rights backer of the team, with support from Greenwoods & Freehills, Holden, Valvoline, Web 105 and Toll.
Australia's best-credentialed female circuit racer, Tander will be aiming at becoming the first woman to win the Australian Drivers Championship and the coveted Gold Star Award that goes along with it.
This year is the 50th Anniversary of the Gold Star, an award won in the past by legends of Australian motor racing as well as current day stars such as IndyCar ace Scott Dixon and Team Australia Champ Car driver Will Power.
Opening practice for the second round of the 2006 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship gets underway tomorrow morning.