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Minggu, 28 Maret 2010

Tander takes V8 Challenge

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Garth Tander is the BRC IMPCO V8 Supercar GP Challenge Champion of Albert Park, having won the third and final race for Holden at the 2010 Qantas Australian Grand Prix.

Tander’s win is his second of weekend, the 2007 series champ having taken Saturday’s second hit-out after finishing second in the meeting opener on Friday.

The Race 3 win was a straightforward one for Tander, but it did have an element of fortune.

Saturday’s runner-up and championship leader Jamie Whincup bolted into the lead at the start and built a healthy gap in the opening laps before his engine dropped to seven cylinders, forcing Whincup into the pits and out of the race. As a result, Tander inherited the lead.

Then with five laps to go Ford front-runner James Courtney, who was shadowing Tander in second place and looking like a threat for the win, also retired with an engine problem, leaving Tander way out in front.

“It’s a shame that Jamie went out, and then James, because it deprived everyone of a good race,” said Tander,

“But you only have to beat the guys that finish the race, and we did that. I couldn’t be happier for the team and the sponsors.”

Shane van Gisbergen had a lonely race to second place in his Falcon after his closest challenger, Mark Winterbottom, slowed with brake problems.

“Our car was good,” said van Gisbergen.

“Each race we’ve changed it. We’re not quite up to speed with Garth and Jamie, but we’re getting closer.”

Behind him was Tander’s Toll Holden Racing Team sidekick Will Davison, who scored his best result of the 2010 V8 Supercar season with third place.

Craig Lowndes finished fourth for TeamVodafone, having stolen that place from Steven Johnson with only a handful of laps remaining. Johnson hung on to fifth, ahead of Paul Dumbrell, Jason Richards, Russell Ingall, Greg Murphy and Todd Kelly.

The race featured an action-packed start, with team-mates Rick Kelly and Jason Bargwanna both spinning at the first turn, which left Tim Slade with race-ending damage on his Stone Brothers Racing Falcon.

Then, on the second lap, Tony Ricciardello – also a team-mate of Kelly and Bargwanna – spun at Turn 10, clipping the wall and bringing out a mid-race Safety Car period.