Garth Tander scores pole for final HRT start
Garth Tander has broken a four year Armor All Pole Award drought ahead of his final start for the Holden Racing Team at Sydney Olympic Park.
The 39-year-old veteran was the third man out in the Top 10 Shootout, running a stunning 1:27.15s lap that proved 1.1s quicker than previous fast man Nick Percat.
Tander then watched on as the remainder of the field failed to better his time, ensuring a 30th career pole.
The result comes as the curtain prepares to fall on Walkinshaw Racing’s 26-year stint as the Holden Racing Team and its 12-year association with Tander.
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“It was a good lap but I didn’t know how good it was going to be because the cloud cover was coming and going,” he said.
“When the cloud came in after my lap I was like ‘come on sun, come back out’.
“It was close at the end but it’s a long time since I’ve had a pole so this is a pretty special one.
“We just wanted to come here and celebrate what HRT has achieved over 26 years.
“Yesterday was pretty cool, this is pretty cool, so hopefully we can finish it off in style.”
Last man on track Shane van Gisbergen came closest, falling just 0.014s shy of Tander’s benchmark.
The Kiwi still ends the season with the Armor All Pole Champion Award for most poles across the year, ending one ahead of team-mate Jamie Whincup with seven.
The HRT’s James Courtney and Erebus’ David Reynolds will share the second row, making it three Walkinshaw built Holdens in the top four.
Tim Slade made it five Holdens in the top five ahead of Scott McLaughlin, Michael Caruso, Percat, Todd Kelly and Whincup.
Whincup’s lap was ruined at the very first corner where the six-time champion locked his rear brakes and slid wide.
“I’ve got no idea what happened, I haven’t locked the rears there all weekend,” he shrugged.
The 250km season finale that will mark the last ever Supercars race at Sydney Olympic Park is scheduled for 1540 local time.
Result: Virgin Australia Supercars Championship Coates Hire Sydney 500 Race 29 Top 10 Shootout
|1||Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VF||1:27.15|
|2||Red Bull Racing Australia||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore VF||1:27.16||00.0136|
|3||Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Holden Commodore VF||1:27.28||00.1307|
|4||Erebus Motorsport Penrite||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore VF||1:27.36||00.2148|
|5||Freightliner Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore VF||1:27.44||00.2931|
|6||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Scott McLaughlin||Volvo S60||1:27.49||00.3431|
|7||Nissan Motorsport||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||1:27.74||00.5921|
|8||Repair Management Aust Racing||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore VF||1:28.25||01.1027|
|9||carsales Racing||Todd Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:28.43||01.2824|
|10||Red Bull Racing Australia||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VF||1:31.57||04.4179|