Western Suburbs Weekly - - Drive Way -

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.

Pic­tures: Travis Barnes

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.

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