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HomeNewsBombshell: Tander signs with Ford squad

Bombshell: Tander signs with Ford squad

GARTH Tander has made a shock switch to Grove Racing for the 2023 Supercars enduros.

Five-time Great Race winner Tander will co-drive in the Sandown 500 and Repco Bathurst 1000, likely with David Reynolds, as well as mentoring Matt Payne.

Further, his son Sebastian will join the Grove Junior Team, competing in the 2023 Australian Kart Championship.

“We identified the need for an experienced driver to work hand in hand with Matt in his first year,” said team owner Stephen Grove.

“Garth was the obvious choice given his proven race winning pedigree and experience in developing race winning cars and teams.

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“On top of that, we understood the need to bring a calculated driver into the fold to assist with the development of Gen3 in the early stages of the season, as well as the opportunity to take the best possible driving line up into Bathurst.

“Sebastian has been incredibly fast this year and had been on our radar for a while. With Matt graduating into Supercars, we wanted another junior driver to join the program and Sebastian’s age and experience fit our requirements.

“He has the ability to learn and develop off (fellow Grove Junior Team members) Mika (LeMasurier) and Oscar (Targett), two drivers that have been through the same development curve in recent times.

“On top, Seb will benefit from exposure to our Supercar program and the drivers and engineers that come with it.”

Grove Racing will run #19 and #26 next year. Pic: Supplied

It will represent the first time in his illustrious career that Tander has raced a Ford in Supercars.

The move also reunites him with former Triple Eight colleagues David Cauchi and Grant McPherson, who are team principal and technical director at the Braeside squad.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to work in some great race teams in Supercars. What I have seen Stephen and Brenton Grove achieve in a very short time frame is seriously impressive,” Tander said in announcing the two-year deal.

“When they asked me to be part of what they are building for the future, not only as a driver, but also to help mentor Matt Payne, who has already proven to be an immense talent and also help guide the Grove Junior Team it was something that grabbed my attention.

“I have worked closely with many within the team in the past, having worked with Alistair McVean, David Cauchi and Grant McPherson already, as well as a team mate to Dave Reynolds way back when he was a little tacker. Something big is being built here and I am honoured to be part of it.

“With the imminent arrival of Gen3 coming in 2023, I am excited to get started and help the team wherever I can.

“I would also like to thank everyone at Triple Eight Race Engineering for the last four years.

“To have the opportunity to win Bathurst in 2020 and 2022, with SVG (Shane van Gisbergen), added another chapter to my career and that’s something I am very grateful for.”

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