GRM sets co-driver pairings at livery unveil
James Golding will be paired with Garry Rogers Motorsport returnee Garth Tander for the enduros after the Melbourne squad lifted the covers off its hastily prepared Holden Commodores.
As GRM unveiled its predominantly white Commodores in its transition from running Volvo S60s, the team confirmed that Walkinshaw cast-off Tander will side with Golding in the #33 machine.
The confirmation of the Pirtek Enduro Cup pairing comes after GRM had earlier flagged its intention to blood Golding as a solo main game driver in up to two wildcard rounds this season.
Incumbent James Moffat will be joined by Richard Muscat in the #34 Commodore with the 2016 Dunlop Series debutant taking the seat occupied by Golding last year.
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Veteran team owner Rogers has maintained his faith in Golding despite the youngster crashing at Sandown and Bathurst last year.
“I certainly see similarities between Bieber (Golding) and Garth in his younger years,” Rogers said.
“I am sure that if he keeps his eyes and ears open Bieber will learn a lot from Garth throughout the season.”
Rogers said his workforce, which have been lauded for their remarkable efforts to prepare Commodores after the Volvo relationship turned sour, remain highly motivated at the team launch at Essendon Fields.
“Of course I am disappointed that we couldn’t find a resolution with Volvo that would see us race the S60,” the passionate Rogers said.
“And this disappointment is more for my people who put so much time and effort to design and build such a competitive car.
“They should be all very proud of their achievement with what they did in such a short period of time with the Volvo.
“I have said it previously but the loyalty and faith in my team that the Wilson Group, PAYCE and Valvoline have displayed really motivates all at GRM.
“Of course the past three seasons with the Volvo and particularly Scotty (2017 DJR Team Penske signing McLaughlin) will in years to come provide me with many fond memories.
“But so do the late ‘90’s and early 2000’s when we were competing head-to-head with the HRT powerhouse and winning Bathurst.
“I certainly look forward to the roller coaster of emotions throughout 2017.”
The 2017 GRM livery is similar to the acclaimed design it used for the Sandown 500 retro-inspired round last year.
GRM undertook a costly exercise to transform its then Volvo S60s into liveries that were a direct throwback to the 1986 Championship-winning Volvo 240T of Robbie Francevic.
It decided to keep the predominantly white livery for the Bathurst 1000 after receiving such high praise from its Sandown colours.