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Tander wins V8 Supercar Championship

Garth Tander

Toll HSV Dealer Team withstood the amazing highs and lows of the year to triumph over a gallant Jamie Whincup in the closest finish in the history of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at the Dunlop Grand Finale at Phillip Island today.

In an incredible finish to the Series, Garth Tander found himself in all sorts of situations in the final race including being sandwiched between his two TeamVodafone rivals Whincup and Craig Lowndes to survive the intense pressure.

He won his maiden Championship by a mere two points from Whincup who had to find one place in the final race, he finished second behind Holden Racing Team’s Todd Kelly, to gift his team a second successive V8 Supercar Championship Series title.

It also gave Holden the coveted Manufacturer’s title and Toll HSV Dealer Team the prized Team’s Award for 2007. In all it was a clean sweep for the Red team.

“Look it certainly hasn’t sunk in,” Tander said.

“Obviously a fantastic result considering how low I felt on Sunday night at Tasmania and to fight back from those lows to come back from a bad qualifying to win two races and set ourselves up so we could manage the third race if we needed to.

“It’s a fantastic effort by our team all year but this weekend we dug ourselves out of the biggest hole post-qualifying. Absolute elation and I just quite believe it right now.

“I’ve said since basically since winning Bathurst that I wanted to win the Championship. That is why I moved to the HSV dealer team. They’ve won two Championships in the three years that I have been there.

“We will sit back and reflect but it feels pretty good right at the minute.”

Tander admitted that he was feeling as anxious as his racer wife Leanne who watched on in agony from the team garage as the final of 37 races unfolded.

“We stayed out a lap too long in the final race and got caught in the sandwich between Jamie and Craig. It was high speed chess from there on. It was about managing the situation,” Mr. Tander said.

“I didn’t realize that we still had it if Craig elbowed his way by. When the boys said don’t worry about it, just cruise to the end it was a pretty good feeling I can tell you.

“They told me straight away when Craig got by. I knew that if Jamie got to the front it would be curtains for us but Todd held on and saved my bacon.”

Whincup was an amazingly gracious second, perhaps knowing his time will come.

“It was a tough race. The heat of the battle got to me a little bit,” Whincup said.

“Today we had great pace and were able to race hard. I was able to catch Todd near the end and I tried really hard but that was my race. I was tapped out.

“I did the best I could but it was not quite enough. We did the absolute best we could and got beaten by the better man on the day.”

For the record Kelly won the final race and finished third for the event. It was a brilliant race from Kelly who was only overshadowed by the Championship scenario.

Race 3 results


Driver Car
1. Todd Kelly Holden Commodore VE
2. Jamie Whincup Ford Falcon BF
3. Craig Lowndes Ford Falcon BF
4. Garth Tander Holden Commodore VE
5. Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon BF
6. James Courtney Ford Falcon BF
7. Mark Skaife Holden Commodore VE
8. Will Davison Ford Falcon BF
9. Steven Richards Ford Falcon BF
10. Rick Kelly Holden Commodore VE
11. Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore VE
12. Jason Bright Ford Falcon BF
13. Paul Morris Holden Commodore VE
14. Dean Canto Holden Commodore VE
15. Max Wilson Ford Falcon BF
16. Jason Bargwanna Ford Falcon BF
17. Shane Van Gisbergen Ford Falcon BF
18. Cameron McConville Holden Commodore VE
19. Paul Dumbrell Holden Commodore VE
20. Andrew Jones Ford Falcon BF
21. Owen Kelly Holden Commodore VZ
22. Greg Murphy Holden Commodore VE
23. John Bowe Ford Falcon BF
24. Alan Gurr Ford Falcon BF
25. Marcus Marshall Holden Commodore VE
26. Russell Ingall Ford Falcon BF
27. Steven Johnson Ford Falcon BF
28. Shane Price Holden Commodore VE
DNF Steve Owen Holden Commodore VZ
DNF Jason Richards Holden Commodore VE
DNF Simon Wills Ford Falcon BF

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