Toll/HSV Racing number ...
Toll/HSV Racing number #16 driver Garth Tander made a grab at the V8 Supercar Championship at Queensland Raceway over the weekend after bagging three out of three races and etched out team mate and defending champion Rick Kelly who had a weekend that he would have rather put behind him.
Tander emulated his result from the Perth round in March this year where he also clean sweeped the opposition and is looking forward to the remaining rounds, but was hesitant of what may lay ahead for the enduros, that being the Sandown 500 and the Bathurst 1000, where last year he partnered Mark Skaife in the Holden Racing Team while Kelly joined his brother Todd, both finishing on the podium.
To say Rick Kelly was disappointed is an understatement. Firstly, his contact with Jason Richards in the Tasman Motorsport #3 in pit lane cost him a drive through penalty in race two and his altercation with Team BOC wheelman Simon Wills in the #14 effectively forced him back to 16th position.
He was able to recover come race three when he finished 6th after some bump and grind with his fellow competitors, something the young gun has lacked, with many critics suggesting that he has been too conservative. Be that as it may, Kelly is only 10 points off the lead, so there is no need to panic after passing the halfway point of the season.
Team Vodafone pilots Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup in the #888 and #88 Fords joined Tander on the podium after both put in some spirited driving during the two races on Sunday. Whincup has now moved into 3rd place in the series while his team mate Lowndes has cemented 4th spot, which sends an ominous warning to the rest of the field. Bathurst winners last year, they have the machinery and the talent to repeat that performance, and let us not forget Lowndes looked set to win last year's championship at Phillip Island only to be denied after being tagged at Honda Corner on the first lap.
Holden Racing Team drivers Mark Skaife (#2) and Todd Kelly (#22) certainly did not have any luck when both failed to finish in the top ten. Skaife and James Courtney in the Jeld-Wen #4 Ford came together during the final race forcing Skaife to 18th position while Kelly's altercation with Steven Richards (#6) on pit straight dropped him to 19th after he was given a drive trough penalty.
All roads lead to Oran Park in three weeks time before the two enduro rounds commencing a month later.