Tander relieved to make Shootout despite crash
It was a relieved Garth Tander that recounted the story of his crash in the early stages of qualifying for Sunday’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
Despite bringing out the red flags by clouting the Griffins Bend tyre barrier on just his second lap of the session, Tander was able to return to the circuit and set the eighth fastest time – booking himself a place in Saturday afternoon’s Top 10 Shootout for pole.
CLICK HERE for Speedcafe.com’s qualifying report and results
The Holden Racing Team driver blamed the initial incident on a brake imbalance – an issue that has been troubling the #2 car since opening practice on Thursday.
“The consistency from set to set (of brake rotors) this weekend has been very average and it just grabbed the front and wouldn’t unlock,” he said of the incident.
“I was on the ‘manual ABS’ all the way into the apex and it wouldn’t unlock and I was a passenger into the wall. It buried itself under the tyre barrier but I got reverse, dug myself out and came back to the pits.
“The boys had to do some pretty crude panel beating and did a fantastic job to get it back into shape.
“To end up eighth and not too far off of the fastest time, I’m pleasantly surprised to be honest with you. We’ve obviously got a bit of work to do tonight to fix her up but we’ll do some tuning in practice tomorrow and see what happens in the Shootout.”
Tander admitted that he was initially unsure on whether he would be allowed to continue in the session after the red flags flew.
While drivers that cause a red flag during a ‘sprint round’ are parked and have their fastest time taken away, neither of those penalties apply in the endurance events.
“I saw the red flags were out and then started trying to recall the rule book in my head as I drove back to pitlane,” he said.
“(Once we knew that) at endurance races the red flag rule (exclusion from the remainder oft he session) doesn’t count we were just trying to work out whether they were going to take our fastest lap from us. In the end that didn’t matter either as we did two laps exactly the same.
“Once we were told that we could restart, all we could do was not worry about what that was, fix the car the best we could and do two fast laps on the odd chance that they were going to take one away. We did all that, ticked all the boxes and got ourselves into the Shootout.”
Tander added that he had no qualms about pushing the repaired car once back on the circuit.
“I’ve got absolute faith in the guys,” he said.
“My number one mechanic looked me in the eyes and said ‘she’s fine mate, no worries’ and away we went.
“You’ve got to have that faith in your guys because they know the car better than I do.”
See below for Speedcafe.com’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 Race Guide.