V8 Supercars: Tander's on top in Townsville

By Laine Clark

Garth Tander stood on top of the podium for the first time since the 2011.
Garth Tander stood on top of the podium for the first time since the 2011.

Almost two years of frustration are finally over for ex-V8 Supercars champion Garth Tander after he savoured victory in yesterday's 200km race in Townsville.

However, series leader Jamie Whincup was left with a bitter taste in his mouth after again bombing out in North Queensland in a big blow to his title defence.

Tander stood on top of the podium for the first time since the 2011 Bathurst 1000 - a 21-month wait - after finishing just ahead of Holden teammate James Courtney with Shane van Gisbergen third.

On Saturday, long suffering Ford fans were celebrating after Will Davison marked only their third win of the season and completed a quinella with factory-backed teammate Mark Winterbottom in the opening 200km race.

However, the Blue Oval fans were seeing red barely 24 hours later when Tander ensured the factory-backed Holden Racing Team ended a 58-race drought.

Remarkably, it also marked HRT's first quinella since Sandown 2009.

However, Whincup had another frustrating day on the tough street circuit, finishing 11th after qualifying 15th fastest.

It followed his seventh placing on Saturday after he started 16th on the grid - marking the first time he began a race outside the top 10 this season.

After arriving in Townsville leading teammate Craig Lowndes by 159 points, Whincup had it whittled down to 111 by yesterday.

Kiwi Van Gisbergen was impressive, tearing through the field to make the podium after switching to softs despite being relegated to the back of the field when he spun out on the opening lap.

The next round will be held in Ipswich from July 26-28.

- AAP

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