TANDER GETS FORMULA RIGHT
GARTH Tander made a quick trip ‘home’ recently to watch his wife Leanne win the Formula Ford race at the Autumn Trophy at Barbagallo Raceway.
Perth-born Tander won many State karting championships, followed in 1997 by the national Formula Ford title, then moved to Melbourne years ago to pursue a very successful career in V8 Supercars. “I’m just here for Leanne,” he said. “But I’ll be back for the V8s in May.”
Leanne, the nation’s top woman in motor racing, had a great outing at Barbagallo.
“Conditions were very trying,” she said.
“Each race was a mix of wet track, dry track and everything in between, plus safety cars in two races and a red flag in the third.
“But I ended up with pole position, two wins and a second, which gave me overall victory.”
WA champ Peter Major won the third heat and 16-year-old Tayla Dicker put in a great drive to claim third spot in one of the heats.
The three Formula Vee events were also closely- fought, David Campbell winning the first from David Caisley by a scant tenth of a second. Third was Cameron Edwards – who came out on top in the second heat while Caisley took the third.
In the street cars, Matt Cherry seemed set for a runaway win in his powerful Monaro, but then the rain set in and the slippery conditions gave the nimbler cars the edge. Kim Ledger took honours in his Evo X, followed by Andrew Stevens (Nissan 180X) with Cherry third.
Paul Kluck (Skyline) won the second heat and Stevens the third.
The Super GT race had the Ferrari 458s of Claude Giorgio and John Zelesco first and second, but Alex Rullo – aged just 14 – set the fastest lap and claimed a solid third spot in his Performance West Falcon 5.0litre.
Daniel Dragojevich won two of the historic touring races in his Monaro and Max Farrell drove a BMW 2002 to victory in the third.
In the Formula Classics, Michael Henderson won all three heats in his Ralt RT4.
In the US, Perth’s Anthony Martin had a tough time in the USF2000 division at the Grand Prix of Louisiana, which was held in extremely wet conditions. He qualified fifth after struggling with an out-of-sorts car, got pushed off-track on turn one, came back and was again punted off the track by a rival. The latter got penalised and fined, but Martin had his first ‘dnf’ (did not finish).
Leanne Tander (car 42) leads as the Formula Fords get under way, followed by Peter Major (1) and Declan O'Brien (11), with teenage star Tayla Dicker in car 70.
Kim Ledger in the Lancer Evo X leads the street car class from Matt Cherry's Monaro and Andrew Stevens in the Nissan 180SX.
Claude Giorgi was on the pace in his Ferrari 458 in the Sports Car thrash.