Tander confident of repeat enduro victory
Holden's Garth Tander has sent out a confident challenge to his rivals as he aims for back-to-back V8 Supercar enduros at this weekend's Sandown 500.
The West Australian believes his pairing again with Nick Percat will give the Holden Racing Team the synergy to carry on from their win in last year's Bathurst 1000.
Percat is one of seven Dunlop Series drivers joining the Sandown and Bathurst long-distance classics before they swap with 28 internationals for the glamour Gold Coast 600.
"We had a great partnership and were really successful last year and we're planning to do it all over again," said Tander.
Percat became the first rookie to win at Mount Panorama since 1977 and hopes to get another endurance title under his belt.
There will be extra intensity for Percat under the qualifying system at Sandown, where grid positions depend on results from two qualifying races - one for each team driver.
"The co-drivers have a lot more pressure on them than they used to," Percat said.
"It's important to be very fast but at the same time you can't over-do it because otherwise you end up in the wall or off the track.
"It's a tough scenario but great for the event and the spectators."
Ford Performance Racing's star outfits have plans to foil the Holden scenario however.
FPR have a trio of Falcons with drivers capable of challenging for victory.
Mark Winterbottom, one point off Jamie Whincup's series lead, will team with the experienced Steven Richards, Will Davison will share his car with John McIntyre and David Reynolds forms a new partnership with Dean Canto.
FPR have finished in the top-four of the past seven Bathurst lead-up races and Sandown was the scene of Winterbottom's debut championship race (2003) and race win (2006).
Davison is a former race winner and pole-sitter in the enduro while Reynolds won the 2004 Australian Formula Ford Championship at the track on the final lap of the final race of the season.