Motorsport: Tander - GT racing and Supercars can co-exist

By Dale Budge

Garth Tander chases Steven Kane at the Bathurst 12 Hour race. Photo / Getty Images
Garth Tander chases Steven Kane at the Bathurst 12 Hour race. Photo / Getty Images

Veteran Supercars driver Garth Tander believes V8s and GT racing can co-exist even in the same city a week apart.

The inaugural Hampton Downs 101 - round three of the Australian GT Endurance Championship - gets underway today at the North Waikato track while a week from now Tander will be 20 minutes up the road at Pukekohe Park Raceway for the Supercars ITM Auckland SuperSprint.

The 39-year-old former Supercars champion will drive an Audi R8 alongside Steve McLaughlin at the 101, where organisers are expecting somewhere around 15,000 fans.

That might have a small impact on next weekend's Supercars championship but Tander thinks any impact will be minimal.

"What we are seeing is the GT fan base is growing as more different types of cars join the category," Tander tells herald.co.nz. "It is a different fan base to that of the V8 fan base.

"It is a great opportunity for people in the Auckland and Waikato region because you have GT cars one weekend and Supercars the next - it is a pretty unique opportunity.

"I think they can co-exist. There is enough room.

"At the end of the day Supercars is still going to be the main show in town. Its level of professionalism, its presentation, its investment is significant.

"Whilst GT is growing and emerging it will never get to the fully professional level that Supercars is and the category owner Tony Quinn has already stated that.

"For me I enjoy driving different cars and I think there is an opportunity to complement each other."

Having been behind the wheel of his Holden Racing Team V8 last weekend on the Gold Coast Tander will have to get used to jumping from one extreme to the other over the next week.

"The cars are like chalk and cheese," he says. "Supercars are right hand drive, front engine, very low aero grip and very high horsepower whereas the GT car is left hand drive, rear engine, very high downforce and not as much horsepower.

"Whilst the GT car is probably quicker overall the top speed is nowhere near as quick as the Supercar.

"You need a very different driving technique. I enjoy that - driving a new car."

- NZ Herald

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