Tander floats possibility of Chevrolet sandbagging
Thursday 5th October, 2023 - 7:03pm
Garth Tander has seemingly suggested that a number of Chevrolet teams may have been sandbagging on the opening day of a Bathurst 1000 event marred by a parity storm.
Come practice, Penrite Racing Mustangs were second-fastest in each of the day’s two sessions, courtesy of Tander in the latter.
Asked by Speedcafe if that result might have dissuaded any concerns which he had, the five-time Bathurst 1000 simply observed, “It’s Thursday.”
THE FINAL RACE OF THE 2023 REPCO SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP ON ONE OF THE WORLD’S BEST STREET CIRCUITS. GO ALL IN AT THE VAILO ADELAIDE 500, CLICK HERE TO BUY TICKETS
However, he then decided to expand on his response, with a comment which raised the question of whether some teams ran high fuel loads.
“I think I’ll just add to that actually,” remarked Tander.
“I think there’s a few of a particular brand of car that are running very, very heavy at the moment.”
The Grove Racing squad fielded the top Ford last time out at the Penrite Oil Sandown 500, when Matt Payne/Kevin Estre finished second in the #19 Mustang.
If not for wheel nut failure during the opening stint, Tander and David Reynolds might instead have been first of the Mustang duos home.
On how they feel about their competitiveness this weekend in light of Ford being knocked back on its aero adjustments, Tander replied, “We’re going to do exactly what we did at Sandown and focus on our own performance and focus on making our car as good as it can be, and then see what happens on Sunday.”
Earlier, however, he did make a point of the fact that he was almost seven tenths adrift of the fastest lap of the day’s co-driver session, achieved by David Russell in championship leader Brodie Kostecki’s Erebus Motorsport Camaro.
By one metric that was ‘close’, as noted in the question, but not so much with respect to the split.
“Well, I finished second, but I was not anywhere close to topping that session; it was seven tenths, first to second,” he noted.
“So, that’s a big chunk of time, but the session went reasonably well.
“We’ve still got a lot of work to do with the car. The car’s very, very nervous in the rear, so a lot to do to improve the car overnight, which hopefully we can do.”
Practice 3, for all drivers, starts tomorrow at 10:00 local time/AEDT.