Leanne Tander returns to one of her favourite circuits when the Formula 3 Championship returns to Oran Park this weekend. She may have stood on the podium of Formula Ford, Formula 3 and V8 Supercar races, but Fleetcare...
Leanne Tander returns to one of her favourite circuits when the Formula 3 Championship returns to Oran Park this weekend.
She may have stood on the podium of Formula Ford, Formula 3 and V8 Supercar races, but Fleetcare TanderSport's Leanne Tander will be given the ultimate test of her driving adaptability this week.
In the past two months Tander, 25, has driven Formula 3 cars, Formula Toyotas in New Zealand and last weekend even raced a factory-backed Diesel Holden Astra in the Bathurst 12 hour -- but nothing will compare to her ride this week to Oran Park Raceway in Sydney.
Leanne will trade her 270kph F3 Dallara for the Fleetcare TanderSport transporter in the lead up to this weekend's second round of the championship in New South Wales.
With her regular 'truckie' Garth Tander busy looking after his other job as a V8 Supercar driver in New Zealand the same weekend, Leanne will assume the reigns of transporting her precious #42 car from TanderSport's suburban Melbourne base to the South-Sydney circuit eight-odd hours up the Hume highway.
Aware that some rounds of the Formula 3 championship clashed with the V8 Supercars, Leanne recently gained her Truck driving license and will make her first long-haul trip this weekend.
Whilst it is set to be a new experience for the already versatile driver, Leanne said that there were many similarities between transporting a vehicle to its racetrack destination and actually racing the car itself.
"Being a truck driver, especially when you are carrying around several hundred thousand dollars worth of racing car and equipment, is all about driving safely and making sure you get to the finish with no difficulties," Leanne explained.
"Obviously when we are racing we are going a bit quicker, and it's not as if I'm going to race other trucks up the Hume Highway, but the concentration and aiming to be a safe driver is very similar.
"Getting on the road for a couple of hours will also be a good opportunity for me to clear my head and get myself ready mentally for the racing at Oran Park, which is surely going to be even more competitive than it was at the Grand Prix and at Eastern Creek before that." she said.
Riding a wave of form, Tander heads into this weekend's round at her favourite track coming off the back of a strong performance in the Bendon Astra in the Bathurst 12 hour.
Tander lead an all-girl team in the event and was running strongly until some difficulties sidelined the car after seven hours of racing.
The Fleetcare-supported team tested at Oran Park last week and Leanne said that the test gave her further confidence as the championship enters a particularly busy stretch of the series -- with two rounds in three weeks.
"Given that the track was quite slippery our car was good and we were able to set come competitive lap times," She said.
Leanne's best lap of 1m03.3s was unofficially half a second quicker than the next best runner testing on the day.
"Oran Park is a great circuit and one of my very favourites. It's a really challenging track but because I have done so many laps there in the past it is one that I'm very comfortable at.
"I think we can be in for a good weekend. We had tough weekends at Eastern Creek and the Grand Prix but we proved that we have the speed to win -- now we just need to get through a race and do it." She said.
The second round of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship gets underway at Oran Park raceway this Friday, April 20th, with two races to be contested on Sunday April 22.