KEEPING its star-studded engineering line-up working “in one direction” will be a key challenge for the rejuvenated Walkinshaw Andretti United in 2022, says the Clayton squad’s former driver Garth Tander.
WAU’s fight to regain Supercars supremacy from archrivals Triple Eight is set to continue this weekend at Symmons Plains, following wins in the 2021 finale at Bathurst and the ’22 Sydney season opener.
Chaz Mostert currently leads the Repco Supercars Championship for the first time in his career while new teammate Nick Percat showed plenty of promise during a mixed Sydney weekend.
Speaking on this week’s Castrol Motorsport News Podcast, now Triple Eight co-driver and Supercars TV talent Tander gave his views on the resurgence of an organisation he drove for from 2005 to 2016.
“There’s a lot of very different people there from when I was there, but there are a lot of key people there who were there when I was there also,” explained Tander.
“Yes, you can see there’s a culture shift within the organisation. There are some different leaders there now, a very different engineering group.
“They have a lot of engineering talent. When you sit down and write all the names down that are in the engineering group at Walkinshaw, there is a lot of brainpower there.”
Recent recruits include Adam De Borre (from Tickford Racing with Mostert for 2020), Head of Performance Grant McPherson (from Triple Eight in 2021) and Geoff Slater (from Team Sydney to engineer Percat in 2022).
Others in the fold include technical director Carl Faux (who joined from the British Touring Car Championship in late 2017) and Walkinshaw long-termers Rob Starr and Terry Kerr.
“I think one of the real challenges in that organisation will be managing all that and keeping it all under control,” Tander continued.
“Engineers are a lot like race car drivers, they want to go away and do their own thing and managing that and keeping it all under control when you have so many talented people, trying to row the boat in one direction I think will be a challenge for them.
“But you can certainly see that there’s a very positive vibe in the place.
“They’ve just won Bathurst and started the championship well, so it’s going to be a positive vibe anyway, doesn’t matter which team it was if they’ve got the results they’ve got right now.
“But you can certainly see there’s a determined effort in that organisation to be more front foot and not be reactive. It’s exciting to see.”
Tander will have his first drive of Supercars’ Gen3 Camaro prototype at Symmons Plains this weekend, testing out the newly reconfigured seating position and stick-shift in a series of demonstration runs.
For more with Tander on Gen3, the 2022 Supercars season and the return of the Adelaide 500, listen to the Castrol Motorsport News Podcast in the player below.