F3

AUSF3: TanderSport launches 2006 campaign

TanderSport launched for 2006 Formula 3 season Leanne Tander has unveiled the ...

TanderSport launched for 2006 Formula 3 season

Leanne Tander has unveiled the #42 Dallara/Holden-Speiss she will debut in the opening round of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship at Wakefield Park near Goulburn on March 4/5.

The 25-year-old, who quit her job at a Melbourne accountancy firm at the end of last year to focus on her comeback to racing, will prepare the car with her V8 Supercar driving husband Garth under the 'Fleetcare TanderSport' banner.

It will run with the backing of Holden, with a European-sourced two-litre Opel Family 2 engine.

Purchased from Euro F3 Series outfit Swiss Racing Team, the car is the latest specification car permitted in the Australian series and, already Tander has undertaken three test days to become further acclimatised to her new machine.

"We've had the opportunity to run the car for two days at Mallala and one at Wakefield Park in addition to when we did the final round of 2005 at Eastern Creek," said Tander, who competed in two other rounds of last year's F3 series in an older model Dallara.

"I was actually really happy with how things progressed at Mallala. I'm still learning about F3 cars and how to get the most out of them. We've got a bit more work to do on getting a handle for Wakefield Park but we have another test day on the Wednesday of race week to bring ourselves into shape.

"The new car is much nicer and a bit smoother than the '01 model car I drove last year. It responds better to setup changes and the sequential gearbox, rather than the h-pattern in the other car, feels really crisp."

Fleetcare, Australia's largest privately-owned fleet management company, will be the naming rights backer of the team, with support from Greenwoods & Freehills, Holden, Valvoline, Web 105 and Toll. The last female to race in V8 Supercars, Tander drove for Garry Rogers Motorsport in 2001. She finished fifth in the Konica V8 Supercar Series and finished 12th in that year's Queensland 500 to easily be the category's most successful female driver.

She has since been racing a flame-spitting Mazda RX7 rotary in the Improved Production category to keep her hand in during recent seasons. Tander also drove a Toyota Corolla Sportivo to third in the 2004 Australian Production Car Championship.

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.

Run as a part of the new CAMS National Racing Championship, the Formula 3 series will be run over eight rounds with an additional non-championship event at the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 30-April 2.

Following its first event at Wakefield Park the series will visit Symmons Plains in Tasmania on April 8/9 and then travel to Phillip Island, Mallala, Eastern Creek, Queensland Raceway and Oran Park. The final venue for round eight is to be confirmed.

The series will be broadcast during 2006 on SBS's 'Speedweek' program and FOX Sports' 'Inside Speed'.

-ts-

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