historicracing

Born on this day (27th - March)

Louis LeCocq

1892 - 1919


Cale Yarborough

1939


Garcia Veiga

1945


Didier de Radigu├Ęs

1958


Mark Lovell

1960 - 2003


Parker Johnstone

1961


Gregor Foitek

1965


David Coulthard

1971



Died on this day (27th - March)

Tom Alley

1889 - 1953


Heinz Schiller

1930 - 2007



Garth Tander
Garth Tander
AUSTRALIA

Born
31 / 3 / 1977
Garth can thank his father, Dirk, for getting him started in Motorsport. Dirk was a keen follower of Motorsport and was actively involved with car preparation and team management for a local competitor at Western Australia's Barbagallo Raceway. When Garth was old enough, Dirk bought Garth his first Kart. It wasn't a particularly great kart, but it was good enough to get started to see if Karting was something that Garth was to enjoy. Enjoy it he must have, because Garth won his very first race! It probably had a lot to do with the fact that there was only one other competitor there, but he had a lot more racing experience (2 race meetings!) so none the less it was a feather in his cap and the beginning of his Motorsport career. After a few years of racing Garth's younger brother, Leon, began to compete as he became old enough to race. At that stage Dad was the president of the Kart Club, Mum (Dale) was the treasurer and the two boys were racing. Karting at the entry level being a family orientated sport allowed the whole family to be involved. As Garth got older, he became more competitive, competing at many interstate and international race meeting held all across Australia. By the time he was 17 Garth had won seven Western Australian State Karting titles and one National title, along with many, many regional titles. Formula Ford After competing extensively in Karts for almost 11 years, Garth took the next step in his Motorsport career. He enrolled at the Fastlane Racing Driver School in Western Australia, regarded as the best Formula Ford driving school in the country. After setting a new school lap record in his first day in the car, Garth and his family decided to take the next few tentative steps towards fulfilling his dream of becoming a Racing Car Driver as a professional. In late 1995 Garth competed in 4 Formula Ford race meetings on a race-by-race lease deal with Fastlane Racing. It was a toe in water exercise to see if Garth had what it took to become competitive in Formula Ford. After only his 4th car race and during his second only car race meeting Garth won his first race and was considered to be one of the country's brightest new talents. A one-year contract was signed with Fastlane Racing for 1996 to enable Garth to challenge for the WA title. Also included in that deal was the chance to race against the countrys best in the Australian Championship in a limited campaign. The 1996 WA title was captured comfortably and during those few National Championship races Garth showed that he had enough pace to run at the front. 1997 saw Garth and the Fastlane Racing Team take the next logical step and battle for the Australian Formula Ford Championship. Sponsorship was the first big hurdle that Garth and the team had to battle however. Until this stage Garth's biggest sponsors were his parents, but the huge cost involved with racing full time in the Australian championship prevented the family from continuing their role as major sponsor. Several sponsors were found to enable Garth to get to the first few rounds of the championship. Garth and the team gambled that if they had a good enough run in the first few races that they would then be able to sign on a major backer to complete the championship. Well, the first few rounds went extremely well with Garth winning 7 out of the first 8 races held but finances were tight, and it looked as though Garth's championship was over when he held a commanding lead over his rivals in the championship. But, as in all fairy tales, a sponsor was secured in the massive Western Australian owned Bunnings Hardware. This allowed Garth and the team to finish their initial goal and that was to win the 1997 Australian Formula Ford Championship. In doing so Garth was the first driver from Western Australia to win a National Championship. During The Off Season Between 1997 and the start of the 1998 season Garth tested with Dick Johnson Racing in one of their Shell Helix Ford V8 Supercars, he also had the opportunity to test with the Holden Racing Team in their Young Lions V8 Supercar. However when 1998 came around the challenge to find the required budget to compete in Formula Holden was too much and Garth was unable to raise the required funds. This meant that Garth, the 1997 Australian Formula Ford Champion, was without a drive and was resigned to the fact that he could only try and muster up enough of a budget to buy a drive in the traditional end of year endurance races for V8 Supercars, the Sandown 500 and the Bathurst 1000. But yet again in one of those fairly tale stories a full time paid drive became available at one of the leading teams in the V8 Supercar category, Garry Rogers Motorsport. After some very brief negotiations, Garth was chosen to fill the vacancy and moved to Melbourne immediately to take up his new role as a full time paid driver in the biggest category in the country. The remainder of 1998 proved to be difficult for Garth as he became familiar with driving a 600 horsepower Holden Commodore as compared to the tiny Formula Ford that had only 100 horsepower he had driven the year previous. There were however a few good races and that was enough for GRM to re-sign Garth for the following year. During 1999 Garth really started to show his full potential. After getting onto the podium in the first round and showing tremendous car speed throughout the year, gathering many more podiums finishes and top five results, Garth found himself in a five way fight for the V8 Supercar championship going into the final race at Bathurst, all this in his first full year in the championship! This time the fairy tale wasn't to come true with Garth becoming involved as an innocent party in someone else's accident on top of the famous mountain on lap 42, ending the race and his quest for a fairy tale championship. The year 2000 saw Garth ready to go out and attack for the V8 Supercar championship. The year couldn't have started more perfectly, Garth winning the first round, third in the second round and again winning the third round to have a large lead in the championship. The dream was again sabotaged, as Garth was taken out of the fourth round by another driver who crashed into him, robbing Garth of crucial points. The battle for the championship was battled all year between Garth and Holden Racing Teams Mark Skaife. Going into the final round held at Bathurst these were the only two drivers who could win the championship. However Garth would have had to of won and Mark Skaife would have had to of finished worse than 17th. It was however, mathematically possible for Garth to take out the championship. Season 2001 was a much tougher year for Garth as the team grappled with the new VX Commodore. He ended the season in 10th place in the Championship with the highlight being a spectacular win in the Showcase event at the Indy meeting. In 2002, Garth drove much better than his 10th place in the Championship suggests. In the early part of the season, he was on the money but had a few things go against him. He was as competitive as many of the top drivers in the middle of the season including a season high of finishing third in the Queensland 500. The end of the season was not a highlight for GT as his car was plagued by mechanical problems that led to a run of DNF's. Years 2003 and 2004 followed with mixed results - blistering speed was mixed with mechanical issues that seemed to limit GT's push into the Championship's top ten. 2005 saw Garth change teams for the first time since entering the V8Supercar ranks. After evaluating all options, Garth considered the HSV Dealer Team would give him the best opportunity for a real shot at the Championship. The team showed it had the speed from day one, but luck wasnt on their side. A series of DNFs early in the season meant Garth was no longer in contention for the title but Garth and the team didnt give up. Instead, they continued to develop the car and were rewarded at Darwin with Garths first race win since Bathurst, 2000. The speed and consistency continued, with Garth finishing third at the QLD 300, claiming pole position for the Sandown 500, winning all three races in a clean-sweep at Symmonds Plains and finishing second at the Grand Finale at Phillip Island. In fact, in the second half of the Championship, Garth scored more points than any other driver in the field. If he can keep that up going into 2006, the Championship title is definitely within reach&