GarthTander is one of the well-known and the most successful Australian touring cars drivers. His biggest achievement so far is 2007 V8 Supercars Championship title.
Tander was born in Perth on 31st of March 1977 and as many of the professional racers, he started his career in go-kart racing. Early days of his racing career were very fruitful. Tander won the title in the Australian kart championship and seven titles in Western Australian state championships.
Unexpected chance in touring cars racing
When he was 20 years old, Garth Tander became the Australian Formula Ford champion and was ready to step on a bigger stage. His aim was to compete in Formula Holden, but he couldn’t find sponsors and his career was in limbo. Luckily, he was offered a drive in V8 Supercars Championship by Garry Rogers Motorsport.
Video - A day in the life of Garth Tander
Rookie season wasn’t impressive as he finished 14th overall, but in 1999 results were far better and Garth clinched 5th place. The progress continued in 2000 when Tander finished as a runner-up, losing the championship battle against Mark Skaife. That year, Tander won the famous Bathurst 1000 and scored another two race wins.
Bathurst 24 Hours winner
Obviously, Tander was capable of high-level performances, but a long way was in front him before winning his first title. From 2001 until 2004, Tander was far from the top despite achieving some considerable results. During 2004 season, Garry Rogers Motorsport announced that after the end of the season, they won’t retain Tander’s services.
Garth Tander, Holden Racing Team
In the meantime, Tander achieved excellent results in the Bathurst 24 Hours race driving a Garry Rogers Motorsport’s Holden Monaro 427C. In 2002 ,he was the winner, sharing the seat with Steven Richards, Nathan Pretty, and Cameron McConville, while in the following year the same line-up finished second.
2007 champion with HSV Dealer Team
Garth remained behind the wheel of Holden Commodore in 2005, but this time as a driver of HSV Dealer Team, partnering Rick Kelly. The change was good for Tander who ended his first season with the new team in the 6th position while in the season of 2006 he was 4th, scoring a total of 10 wins in two years. At one point in 2006, he was leading the championship, but after a poor performance at Oran Park, he lost the lead and soon was out of the championship title battle.
Garth Tander, 2007 V8 Supercars champion
At the top of the podium after thrilling championship battle
Eventually, in 2007, Garth Tander became the V8 Supercars champion. Driving a Holden VE Commodore, he was the winner in 15 of 37 races and claimed the title only two points ahead of Jamie Whincup. That was one of the most exciting seasons in the history of the series because four drivers were in contention for the title before the last round. Tander won two of three races at Phillip Island and clinched the title, also securing manufacturers’ title for Holden and teams’ championship for his HSV Dealer Team.
Move to Holden Racing V8 Supercars Team
After the biggest success in his career, Tander moved to Holden Racing Team in 2008 and began a new, quite successful phase of his career. In his first year with the new team, Garth finished 3rd in the Drivers’ championship. He scored his second victory at Bathurst 1000 in 2009, with Will Davison as a co-driver. His third win at the most prestigious Australian race was in 2011, this time with Nick Percat.
Celebrating a victory with Will Davison at Bathurst 1000 in 2009
However, after 2009, Tander was never a real title contender but he was always in Top 10 and he scored a decent number of wins. Starting from 2014, Garth also participated in the Australian GT Championship, but without any remarkable success.
Tander is hugely involved in the various community and charity programmes in Australia. Among other things, he is an Ambassador of Ponting Foundation which helps young Australians to beat cancer and an Ambassador of the Leukemia Foundation which provides free support services for patients and their families.