Tander: Supercars should have two enduros, but not three
Wednesday 30th June, 2021 - 3:04pm
Four-time Bathurst 1000 winner Garth Tander believes Supercars should add one but not two endurance events to future calendars.
Supercars calendars both last year and this year have involved just one enduro: the Bathurst 1000.
That’s been in stark contrast to the preceding seasons in which three two-driver rounds – typically Sandown, Bathurst and Gold Coast – comprised a mini-battle for the Pirtek Enduro Cup.
Cost containment during the COVID-19 pandemic was one key consideration behind the reduction in endurance racing, including expenses involved with additional staff to execute refuelling pit stops, plus co-drivers.
Supercars CEO Sean Seamer has recently spoken of being open to adding a post-Bathurst enduro to next year’s schedule.
Fans have not held back in showing their support for more enduros, with more than 98 percent of voters in this week’s Pirtek Poll indicating as such.
Tander agrees, but he believes two annual enduros is the most appropriate solution, crucially with one occurring in the lead-up to the Great Race.
“I think when we used to have three endurance races, I think that was too many, to be honest,” the Red Bull Ampol Racing co-driver told the Parked Up podcast.
“As a main game driver, I thought it was too many and then even as a co-driver I thought three was too many.
“I think as far as the championship goes, three events is too much of a percentage of a championship year.
“So I think two is okay, and I’d like to see it go back to two.
“I think it’s unfair on the younger co-drivers to expect them to turn up to Bathurst and do a job.
“So I think two would be good, to go back to that, a traditional curtain-raiser to Bathurst and then Bathurst itself.”
Tander also identified the Shell V-Power Racing Team’s Anton De Pasquale as the driver most likely to become a week in, week out threat to runaway championship leader Shane van Gisbergen.
This October, Tander will partner van Gisbergen for a third straight Bathurst 1000 start.
The #97 star has opened up a 221-point lead through five rounds; De Pasquale meanwhile is eighth despite consistently starring in qualifying.
“Anton really looks like he is starting to step up speed-wise but is still not putting full race weekends together,” Tander assessed.
“He’s proven with his qualifying speed at The Bend and at Darwin and then Will Davison backed that up as well.
“The Shell V-Power cars are very, very strong in qualifying trim but there’s a lot of mistakes in Anton’s race game at the moment and they’ve had a few reliability issues, a few engine issues this year at Sandown and then at The Bend as well.”
De Pasquale failed to take a podium from the Darwin Triple Crown earlier this month, having qualified for all three races inside the top three – including one pole position.
Townsville is due to host Round 6 of the 2021 Repco Supercars Championship across July 9-11.