POSITIVE START FOR TANDERSPORT AT EASTERN CREEK TanderSport has hailed it's first weekend as a two-car team a success following a positive weekend at the first round of the 2008 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship, at Eastern Creek ...
POSITIVE START FOR TANDERSPORT AT EASTERN CREEK
TanderSport has hailed it's first weekend as a two-car team a success following a positive weekend at the first round of the 2008 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship, at Eastern Creek Raceway.
Running one car in the Championship Class and one in the Opes Prime National Class, TanderSport drivers Leanne Tander and Chris Reindler both raced at the front of their respective classes' and immediately justified the teams' substantial program of expansion carried out throughout the off season.
Leanne Tander (#42 TanderSport Dallara F307 Mercedes) qualified on pole position for the first race of the 2008 season after setting her best time early in the session, scoring the top spot by two-tenths of a second. She then went on to finish the race third after a slow start saw her shuffled down to her eventual finishing position on the podium.
However, a competitive performance that saw the #42 car race in the midst of the leading group of four cars was a promising debut for the teams' brand-new Dallara F307 / Mercedes chassis and, importantly, a better start to Tander's championship campaign foe 2008 compared to the horror weekend experienced the same time last season.
Tander set fourth-fastest lap of the race after running just behind James Winslow and just in front of Earl Bamber for all of the 13 laps, finishing less than a second behind second position.
Chris Reindler (#52 TanderSport National Class Dallara F304 -- Spiess) made a stunning debut, scoring a first-up Pole position in the National Class after only one day of testing prior to the round.
A hefty crash just moments after setting his time, however, left the TanderSport team with a huge job ahead of them -- the team working miracles to get the car repaired in time to give Reindler a chance to place the car on the grid for the second race before ending the second session 5th - despite the car only having a basic setup in place.
The 18-year old then raced strongly to finish third on debut despite a seatbelt problem throughout the race that caused him substantial pain in fast corners. Despite the ailment, Reindler was able to gain F3 race experience thanks to several close dices with National Class rivals en route to his strong finishing position.
Unfortunately, neither driver was able to improve on their race one results after the second race was cancelled after four laps behind the safety car, due to extreme wet weather conditions.
Both TanderSport drivers sit third in their respective championships' following the first round of the series.
The team will next be in action at the 2008 Clipsal 500 Adelaide in three weeks time.
More information about TanderSport can be found at www.tandersport.com
Leanne Tander - #42 TanderSport Dallara F307 Mercedes Benz
"That was an up and down weekend for us, but I think it shows that the team will be strong this season.
"It was great to get the first pole position of the season and show how competitive our car is after just two-and-a-bit days of testing before the round. We know the car is competitive and it's just the start that let the results down for the weekend.
"In the race the car had good pace and I was able to stay with the two in front, but it's very difficult to pass so I had to be content with third. Given we started on pole the result is disappointing but there are positive points about it, especially we are only a few points of the championship lead. It's a good start to what can hopefully be a good season."
Chris Reindler - #52 TanderSport Dallara F304 Spiess Opel (National Class)
"I got a really good start, which I was extremely happy with, considering it was my first start in Formula 3.
"I was leading the class then, but got muscled out of the way a couple of times which dropped me back to third. After that I had seatbelt problems, which made it very difficult to drive, so I was happy that the race ended. Overall I'm really happy. It was a really positive weekend for us and I'm really pleased with what I learned about the car."
Garth Tander -- TanderSport Team Manager
"It was an Up and down weekend for us. I was really, really pleased after qualifying one for us to have both cars on pole for both classes. We worked really hard over the off season to make the cars competitive and it paid off. It was obviously disappointing for Chris to have his crash but it was a really good test for our team to be able to repair it -- I'm not too sure how many other teams would have been able to repair it in that time.
"Chris was incredibly impressive. Before qualifying we had calculated that he had done about 85 laps in a Formula 3 car, ever -- and only 60 here -- so to put it on pole was an outstanding effort. He's going to be a really, really good driver -- obviously it's in his genes! He's very young and willing to learn and we're very keen to work with him in the future.
"It was disappointing that we didn't get the race win for Leanne with a bad start, but both cars had the speed to do it. I think a lot of people had doubts that we would be able to do it but we've proved them wrong this weekend."