Former V8 Supercar champion Garth Tander has joined Garry Rogers Motorsport for 2017 and 2018; a deal that marks the 39-year-old’s return to the team that gave him his start in the series back in 1998.
Tander moves across from the Holden Racing Team to replace Scott McLaughlin, who is bound for DJR Team Penske.
“There is a bit of romanticism about it all, but in reality if you sit down and look at results over the last couple of years and the stability of the organization then it’s a great opportunity from a driving point of view as well,” Tander told Supercars.com.
Tander will join James Moffatt at the team, which is entering a transition phase of its own as team owner Garry Rogers’ son Barry takes a more central role in its day-to-day operations.
“People will have noticed my son Barry has been running the team equally as much as I have in recent times,” Rogers said in a team statement.
“I am still energetic but I am not quite as energetic as I was. Garth’s business acumen is important; he is very smart as well as being a great driver so I think he will be a person to help Barry not only maintain but also grow the team.
“I have no doubt that Garth will be a serious contender on track. As a driver he has a few good years left in him in my opinion and whether that’s two or ten I don’t know. There will be stage when Garth decides to step back from full time driving and then we would look at maybe endurance races and helping us with our young drivers.”
Tander won the 2007 title with HRT and is a three-time Bathurst winner, with the first of those victories coming with GRM in 2000. His return to the team means an end to his 18-year association with Holden, although an ongoing dispute over GRM’s right to continue using Volvo equipment following the Swedish manufacturer’s withdrawal from the series leaves a question mark over what the team will run next year.