TANDERSPORT ENDS BEST SEASON YET WITH BIGGEST WIN YET IN F3 SUPERPRIX TanderSport driver Leanne Tander rebounded from a race one disappointment to brilliantly win the John Bowe Trophy and the Country Club Tasmania Formula 3 SuperPrix at Symmons...
TANDERSPORT ENDS BEST SEASON YET WITH BIGGEST WIN YET IN F3 SUPERPRIX
TanderSport driver Leanne Tander rebounded from a race one disappointment to brilliantly win the John Bowe Trophy and the Country Club Tasmania Formula 3 SuperPrix at Symmons Plains raceway in Tasmania at the weekend.
TanderSport National Class drivers Ben Crighton and Mathew Radisich also had exceptional weekends and ended their respective championship seasons in style after both posted some of their best performances of the season in the final round.
Leanne Tander was fighting for the race lead in the opening 22-lap race at Symmons Plains when the engine of the #42 Dallara went off song, loosing power and seemingly dropping onto three cylinders.
On lap fifteen the engine expired altogether and after a valiant charge ended the title hopes for TanderSport after a massive, year-long come from behind effort that at one point had Leanne trailing by 28 points.
After a rapid engine change from the TanderSport crew, Leanne was able to make the start of race two and with an older engine made the best start from pole and withheld concerted challenges from several drivers to win the longest race of the season by just 0.06 seconds in her 51st F3 championship race start.
Leanne ended the season second in the championship with 194 points, just four behind the winner. The #42 car won five races this season and finished on the podium a total of nine times.
With Symmons likely to be Leanne's final championship F3 round before moving her career onwards, she will leave her open wheel career with a stunning array of achievements including taking TanderSport to second in the championship on two occasions.
In 51 F3 career (points scoring) starts she won seven times and finished on the podium on 22 occasions - the sixth most of all time - and also logged ten pole positions and five fastest race laps.
TanderSport's National class campaign was highlighted at the weekend by a perfectly-timed Race one outright pole position from young Melbourne-based Kiwi Mathew Radisich.
Radisich became the first National Class driver to ever record an outright F3 pole position when he banked the fastest lap in Qualifying one after the chequered flag had fallen on a drying racetrack. He proved it was no fluke in the second session by qualifying sixth outright on a dry track, just six-tenths from pole.
Radisich led the first few laps of the first race and was pulling away from the field before Winslow and Tander slipped by. An unfortunate contact with Nathan Caratti several laps later - whilst dicing for third - ended his race but left plenty impressed with his stunning performance and ability to lead and control the race in its early stages.
Ben Crighton again showed his pace driving the #52 TanderSport car and maintained a mostly trouble free weekend to twice finish third in the National class ranks, save for being taken off the circuit in the opening corner of race two.
Crighton the used his best performance for last when he was engaged in a mighty scrap for sixth though tenth place as he charged back though the field. With positions constantly changing, Crighton finished in the middle of the pack where five cars were split by just 1.3 seconds as they crossed the line.
Radisich and Crighton finished fourth and fifth in the 2008 F3 National Class, respectively, this season despite not contesting all the rounds.
Leanne Tander - #42 TanderSport Dallara F307 Mercedes - Benz (194 Points, 2nd)
"I believe my team to be the very best and they proved that again at the weekend by getting the engine changed in my car between races and getting me back out for the SuperPrix.
"After the disappointment of the engine failure in race one winning the SuperPrix and the John Bowe trophy was a fantastic response. It is disappointing to have not been able to give this team a championship but it was something out of my and the teams control, and the job they have done has been amazing.
"I got a great start in the SuperPrix and because we had a car capable of winning in race one, I knew I could do it in race two so I held on, pushed hard and got the win.
"We have come from 29 points behind in this championship and worked so hard to recover. I have had a great year and all thanks has to go to the team and those that have supported me."
Mathew Radisich - #32 TanderSport / HT Leads Dallara F304 Spiess Opel (87 Points, 4th in National Class)
"I think I was as surprised as anyone with the (race one) pole position - it was a great feeling. We couldn't have done it without the support and information of TanderSport because they really helped with the car setup and allowed me to get the best out of it.
"It was a really good weekend and although the first race didn't go to plan I was happy with how I drove and how we performed. It was great to be able to go out and lead the first race and pull .8 of a second on James and Leanne in the first few laps - very satisfying!"
Ben Crighton - #52 TanderSport Dallara F304 Spiess Opel (86 Points, 5th in National Class)
"My first season in Formula 3 has been a learning experience and has been a really good one at that.
"I'm pretty happy with the weekend and the way that the season has gone. It was a shame to be turned around at the start of race two but we came back strongly. We have had plenty of speed and now I have a good understanding of these cars and the tracks we race one. It's been really enjoyable to race with TanderSport - they are a great team."
Garth Tander - Team co-owner / Team Manager
"I think it is safe to say that it (race one) wasn't the result we wanted but its part of this game. The car was fast enough to win in both races and we proved that after the engine swap.
"Mathew's qualifying effort was sensational and he proved at the weekend that he can run up the front of this championship. Ben had a good weekend and had great speed but was taken off in turn one of race two and did a great job to fight back with a very good drive.
"I am very proud of this team and the way that they kept fighting to the end."