The Holden Racing Team has announced it has extended its contract with former V8 Supercars champion Garth Tander, confirming it has signed the West Australian to a three-year deal that extends his long association with the squad until the end of the 2014 season.
The announcement was made in a team news conference today at its Melbourne headquarters, and comes hot off the back of the arrival of Tander’s first child Scarlett, with the birth celebrated just days ago with fellow racing driver wife Leanne.
Tander has been a part of the Walkinsaw Racing empire since 2005 when he first drove for the HSV Dealer Team for three seasons – winning the title in 2007 – before crossing over to the Holden Racing Team outfit, where he has remained ever since.
“It’s been a big five days for the Tander family with two big milestones, first with the arrival of Scarlett on Friday and yesterday signing a contract extension with Toll HRT – so I’m really happy,” Tander beamed.
After a difficult season so far for HRT – he has netted just one win at Adelaide, as well as podiums at three other rounds – Tander lies seventh in the Drivers’ Championship standings as the once-dominant squad battles through a rough patch in form.
Certainly the team believes that having stability in its driver line-up – with underperforming team-mate and defending title-holder James Courtney locked in on a long-term deal – is important to the rebuilding phase it will need to undertake.
“We are really excited to have extended our relationship with Garth,” HRT owner Ryan Walkinsaw added. “This extension re-affirms our commitment to having the best talent and allows us to focus on the task at hand which is winning races. Garth’s experience and interaction with the team regarding technical aspects of the car is second to none, and we are excited to have him on board as we focus towards the future.”
“A lot of people might question my decision after such disappointing event in Darwin, but for me there was absolutely no question of staying with the Toll Holden Racing Team,” Tander added.
“I am also certain of the people within the team who are working hard behind the scenes and I am confident that together we are capable of returning Toll HRT to a position where it is winning races on a more consistent basis, and winning championships.”
The series’ next championship round is the Sucrogen 400 at Townsville next weekend.
[Images via Holden Racing Team]