LEANNE TANDER LIVING UP TO PRE-SEASON PROMISE AS TANDERSPORT HEADS TO MALLALA At the beginning of the 2007 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship Fleetcare TanderSport driver Leanne Tander stated that her firm belief was that the...
LEANNE TANDER LIVING UP TO PRE-SEASON PROMISE AS TANDERSPORT HEADS TO MALLALA
At the beginning of the 2007 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship Fleetcare TanderSport driver Leanne Tander stated that her firm belief was that the title was hers' for the taking this year.
"The Championship is mine to win in 2007," she said in late January.
Now three rounds into the season, Tander sits just 11 points from the lead of the Australian Drivers Championship and is riding a wave of form that saw her become the first ever female winner of a Gold Star race, at Phillip Island in May.
It was Fleetcare TanderSport's first triumph since the teams' formation in late 2005, the triumph coming in thrilling fashion as Leanne worked her way from third place into the race lead at the daunting Victorian circuit.
This year Tander has scored one win, two thirds and has finished inside the top six in every race.
Leanne and the #42 Fleetcare team now head to Adelaide's Mallala raceway looking to continue their stellar recent form - with the aim to solidify her position at or near the top of the standings.
After a six-week mid year break 25-year-old Tander is more than ready to reassert her position as a contender this season, at Mallala.
"Phillip Island was so long ago but I certainly feel like I'm in a good position at the moment," Tander said.
"Obviously I'd like to be leading -- all drivers would -- but my aim at the start of the year was to remain within striking distance of the leader if I wasn't in front, and given that I'm only 11 points from the lead going into the half way round of the championship, I'd say that we have done that.
"I am fortunate that many of the tracks in the second half of the season really suit my style so as long as we are within sight of the leader I think I have a real chance at winning."
Clutch dramas thwarted any chance of a good result in Adelaide last season, leaving Leanne to record a fourth in race one and a non-finish in the second.
She believes that prior results at the circuit, at least in this case, won't be an accurate form guide for this weekend's racing.
"We struggled at Mallala last season because of some clutch problems, but despite that it's a circuit that I enjoy," she explained.
"The (2.6km) layout of Mallala means that there are several opportunities to overtake which aren't the case at some of the other circuits we visit -- so even if you aren't leading into turn one you still have a shot at passing someone.
"Last year didn't go to plan but every time we have tested there we have run well."
Fleetcare TanderSport will be in action throughout two races in round four of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship for the CAMS Gold Star, between June 30 and July 1.