WIN NUMBER TWO FOR LEANNE TANDER IN CONTINUATION OF PHILLIP ISLAND FORM Leanne Tander scored her second race win of the 2007 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship in emphatic fashion at the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit ...
WIN NUMBER TWO FOR LEANNE TANDER IN CONTINUATION OF PHILLIP ISLAND FORM
Leanne Tander scored her second race win of the 2007 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship in emphatic fashion at the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit today.
Fleetcare TanderSport driver Leanne, who scored her first career F3 win at the high-speed 4.46km circuit in May this year, bounced back from a difficult opening race today to work her way to a win from third on the grid in this afternoon's second 14-lap affair.
Both races were plagued by wet weather making conditions difficult for all involved.
Tander started from the front row in race one and made a strong initial jump, but was forced wide at turn one and slotted into third place for the opening stanza of the race.
After a mid-event safety car slowed proceedings, Tander slipped back through the field with overheating tyres on a rapidly drying circuit, dropping to seventh position by lap ten.
She gained one position at the line and more vital championship points with a solid top six finish after one of the most action-packed races of the season so far.
In race two Leanne barely turned a lap at speed until the seventh (of fourteen) laps, three early race safety cars decimating the field behind the top four runners.
Leanne had made yet another strong start and was running third throughout the chaotic first laps in yet another race affected by rain -- a persistent downpour just prior to the second event leaving competitors to again deal with wet rubber on a drying track.
When racing resumed Leanne began her charge, lining up and passing Charles Hollings with a late-braking move into MG on lap eight.
The following lap she powered around the outside of Tim Macrow over Lukey heights to assume a lead she would never loose -- scampering away to win by a commanding five second margin.
The pass at Lukey was reminiscent of her maiden F3 triumph some four months ago when she went around the outside of James Winslow at turn one -- yet another dauntingly quick corner -- to take the lead just laps before she secured the win.
The end result left Tander 11 points behind the championship lead in third place, but importantly a massive 42-points ahead of fourth placed Winslow.
Leanne has now scored two wins, two seconds and two thirds from the first twelve races of this season. Just four races (two rounds) remain to complete the year.
"That was a good and bad weekend," she said.
"The second race was great. I've said all along that we need to win races so to come back here and do it is fantastic.
"In race one it was a combination of my own mistakes by not looking after my tyres well enough. To make things worse I didn't do well and Tim and Charlie -- my two closest rivals -- did really well (They finished first and second, respectively) which made things difficult."
Leanne still sits well in contention for the Australian Drivers Championship but the experienced driver -- she has been involved in the thick of championship battles in Formula Ford, V8 Supercar and Production Cars in the past -- said that winning races is the first aim.
"To win this championship I'm going to need to win in the next few races," She explained.
"When one person has a bad run -- like I did in race one -- they will drop behind and it will be hard to come back.
"I think I have third pretty safe, but that's not good enough. I'm here to win and I plan on going out to win the last four races.
"We still have four more races and 88 points to get so there is more than enough time,"
The next round of the championship will be held at Symmons Plains raceway, in Tasmania, on September 1 -- 2.