Tander to make TCR Australia debut at Phillip Island

Former Supercars champion Garth Tander will join the TCR Australia field at Phillip Island next weekend, it has been announced.

Tander to make TCR Australia debut at Phillip Island

Tander, who was dropped by Garry Rogers Motorsport at the end of last season, will drive an Audi RS 3 LMS for the Melbourne Performance Centre team.

It will be the 41-year-old’s first outing in an under-two litre TCR car and first in any front-wheel drive machine.

The three-time Bathurst 1000 winner will be on double duty next weekend; in addition to his TCR commitments, he will also compete in Australian GT Endurance Championship in an R8 GT3 entered by Audi Sport Team Valvoline.

“I’m looking forward to it,” said Tander. “I was a keen observer of the first round in Sydney, so to get my opportunity to drive a brand new Audi at Phillip Island is fantastic.

“It will be different to drive than anything I’ve done before so it will be a challenge to get my head around it.

“I’ve never raced a front wheel drive car before. That will be the main thing to get across, but looking at the racing in Sydney, it looked exciting, challenging, and the guys out there are fast and switched on.

“Drivers like Will Brown, Tony D’Alberto and Jason Bright have have a full race weekend head start on me. I have a bit of catching up to do but I’m up for it.”

Melbourne Performance Centre recently added two more Audis to its fleet, after running a single RS 3 for Rik Breukers and a Volkswagen Golf for Aaron Cameron at the opening round in Sydney.

Cameron and Tander are the only drivers confirmed for the Phillip Island round, leaving two MPC Audi seats up for grabs.

“Garth is our first port of call anytime our team needs a driver,”  said team’s managing director Troy Russell.

“We tried to get him for Sydney but things didn’t work. We are rapt that he’ll be in our car for Phillip Island.”

“He is the ultimate professional – both in and out of the car. He won’t have driven the car prior to Phillip Island, but knowing Garth, it won’t take him long to get his head around it and get on the pace.

“He is also racing the Audi R8 in the Australian GT races too, so he won’t be lacking for race miller over the weekend.”

Although Tander lost his full-time Supercars seat to Richie Stanaway over the winter, the Australian will partner Shane van Gisbergen at Triple Eight for the enduro leg of the season.

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