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Title contender drafts in Tander for QR

GARTH Tander will make his return to GT World Challenge Australia this weekend, partnering championship leader Liam Talbot.

The Grove Racing co-driver, who is making a one-off Carrera Cup start at The Bend later this month, will join forces with Talbot at Queensland Raceway in the #65 Shannons Audi R8 LMS Ultra.

Following his and Fraser Ross’ last-start victory in Sydney, Talbot sits atop the Pro-Am standings by a mere two points ahead of Austrian ace Max Hofer.

But with Ross unavailable this weekend, five-time Bathurst 1000 winner and Audi GT3 veteran Tander got the nod.

“I’ve had a long relationship with Melbourne Performance Centre and earlier this year that asked if there was an opening, would I be keen to drive – and of course I said yes,” said the 46-year-old.

“Fraser can’t make it this weekend, so they rang and I said yes straight away.

“I’ve not driven the car this year but thankfully the practice sessions are a bit longer now which will give me time to play myself in.

“I’ve done some miles in the last weeks between ride days, a test day in a Porsche, Supercars testing and now the GT car so I feel good about it.

“Based on how we went there last year we should be somewhat in the mix.

“My role is not about me doing laps, it’s about solidifying Liam’s position in the title.

“I’ve always gone into these races with the approach of supporting the Am driver the best I can and that’s the approach I will take with Liam this weekend.”

Hofer meanwhile will be paired with Geoff Emery in another Audi, entered by Jamec Racing.

Other familiar faces in the field at QR will include Broc Feeney, Jamie Whincup and Jayden Ojeda.

Grove Racing has not yet confirmed whether Tander will co-drive with David Reynolds or Matt Payne in this year’s Sandown 500 and Repco Bathurst 1000.

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