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What still irks Tander about GRM blindsiding

GARTH Tander has reflected on the Garry Rogers Motorsport blindsiding that saw him unceremoniously dumped from full-time Supercars competition.

Tander spent nine years at GRM across two stints, either side of a 12-year tenure in the Walkinshaw fold (HSV Dealer Team/Holden Racing Team), before being suddenly axed in early January 2019.

That came as GRM struck a naming rights deal with Boost Mobile that involved taking Richie Stanaway on as James Golding’s teammate.

Tander was the fall guy, costing the 2007 champion the chance to have a swansong of sorts.

“That’s what pissed me off the most, absolutely,” the current Grove Racing co-driver said on the V8 Sleuth Podcast powered by Castrol.

“I wasn’t able to at the final round of my full-time championship hire a corporate box above pitlane and get 20, 30, 50, 100, whatever the number is, of the people that were important to me there and then, but also more importantly along the journey that helped me achieve having a career in motorsport on a full-time basis.

“That’s what really pissed me off, that I didn’t get that opportunity. Not that you deserve that opportunity, but I wasn’t able.

“I feel like I had been in the sport long enough full-time and particularly with the team in question, had done enough with them over the journey, that there would be a bit more respect to be able to achieve that somehow.

“It was more about being able to say thank you to the people that supported me during my journey.

“I wasn’t able to do that, so that’s what pissed me off the most, it really did and still does to this day. But I can’t change that.

“Fortunately, nowadays I can’t ask to be in a better position than I am within the motorsport world at this stage of my life. So although that sucked, as things have turned out, it hasn’t worked out so bad.”

Tander revealed he “walked in completely blindsided into that meeting” and lost the opportunity to move into a GRM management role for 2020.

“That was always the plan, from when I signed there at the end of 2016, was to drive for a couple of years and then at some stage transition into running the organisation for Garry,” he said.

Soon after losing his GRM seat, Tander signed with Triple Eight, where he would win another two Bathurst 1000s and lay the foundations for his subsequent Grove Racing opportunity.

As well as co-driving with Shane van Gisbergen, the 46-year-old in 2019 mentored then Triple Eight Super2 driver Brenton Grove – who is now CEO at looming Supercars powerhouse Grove Racing.

Tander last year co-drove with David Reynolds, and will partner either Stanaway or Matt Payne in the 2024 Sandown 500 and Repco Bathurst 1000.

Part 2 of the Tander/V8 Sleuth Podcast powered by Castrol episode is due to be released on Wednesday March 6.

Garth Tander (right) won the 2000 Bathurst 1000 with Jason Bargwanna. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander
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