Garth Tander has hailed the Toll Holden Racing Team’s return to winning form at the Sucrogen Townsville 400 today.
Tander won Race 14 of the V8 Supercars Championship in dominant fashion – proving too fast for points leader Jamie Whincup on both the hard and soft compound tyres.
CLICK HERE for Speedcafe.com’s race report
The victory comes just three weeks after the team endured a disastrous Sky City Triple Crown at Hidden Valley, where an 18th place finish for Tander in Race 12 was the factory squad’s sole top 20 result.
“We said all along over the Darwin weekend that the morale is good in the team, people know where we’re going in the team and we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us,” said Tander after taking the HRT’s 199th championship race victory.
“So to come to Townsville and get a win is an absolute credit to the guys at the race track and at the shop.
“This is every bit as important as our Bathurst win in 2009.”
Elaborating further on the importance of the victory, Tander stressed the criticism levied at the team after Hidden Valley.
“Everyone had written the team off after Darwin,” said Tander.
“A management change, talk of unrest within the team, the team not performing and having bad results on the track. Basically everyone wrote us off and were waiting for us to come to Townsville and fail again.
“To come back and turn things around very methodically the way the team did during the break, it was an amazing team effort, and we all know that winning Bathurst was a big team effort.
“To get this victory today is a tribute to everyone involved on car 1 and car 2.”
While Tander took his second race win of the season, it was a less than successful day for James Courtney.
The reigning champion qualified 14 places behind his team-mate in 19th, before retiring from the race after contact with David Reynolds on Lap 25.
CLICK HERE for Courtney’s thoughts on his day