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The purple patch of Tander’s career

GARTH Tander is a decorated five-time Bathurst 1000 winner, but it wasn’t in any of his Great Race-conquering years that he felt at the absolute peak of his powers.

Tander took victory in the Mount Panorama classic in 2000 for Garry Rogers Motorsport, in 2009 and 2011 for the Holden Racing Team, and in 2020 and 2022 for Triple Eight – and will vie for a sixth career win later this year with Grove Racing.

But the Perth product believes his ultimate golden years came in between his first and second Bathurst 1000 successes.  

“Probably ‘06, ‘07, ’08, through that period,” Tander said on the V8 Sleuth Podcast powered by Castrol.

“That’s when I felt like it came to me the easiest, the speed came to me the easiest.

“We had good cars and good teams and good organisations and I felt like in that period, from a consistently delivering performance as an athlete, that period was probably it.

“That’s not to say that I didn’t feel like I was fast at any other stage in my career, but I feel like if you want to look back at your career and go ‘when was your real purple patch’, it was probably through there.”

After an initial seven-year burst with GRM, Tander spent seasons 2005-07 at the Toll HSV Dealer Team, culminating in a championship in ’07.

He switched to HRT the following season to lead the legendary Clayton squad’s charge.

Tander remained there until returning to GRM in 2017, although that reunion was unexpectedly cut short after two years, a split which was discussed during Part 1 of his V8 Sleuth Podcast powered by Castrol episode.

Part 2 touches on various topics including the roots of his rivalry with Marcos Ambrose, his meteoric rise into Supercars, and his modern-day broadcasting role.

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