TCR Australia Rewind – When the Tanders tangled
The second round of Supercheap Auto TCR Australia’s inaugural season at Phillip Island was an action-packed affair, and an incident in Race 2 sent Garth Tander straight to the doghouse (albeit he was the innocent party).
It was the first appearance of Garth and wife Leanne in the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series driving a Melbourne Performance Centre-prepared Audi RS 3 LMS TCR each.
It was a successful opening race for the pair as Garth crossed the line fifth and Leanne ninth, however the former received a penalty to drop outside of the top 10.
Garth providing his wife some track intel prior to the start of the 14-lap race after competing in the prior GT event where oil had been dropped at MG. With Garth hoping to claw back the positions lost due to the penalty, he did pre-warn himself if contact was made.
“I just have to make sure I pass Leanne cleanly otherwise I’ll be in the doghouse forever,” were Garth’s infamous last words on the Race 2 grid.
Dramas began prior to Southern Loop when the field checked up as a result of James Moffat spinning his Garry Rogers Motorsport Renault Megane R.S., which resulted in Garth hitting the rear of Andre Heimgartner’s Kelly Racing Subaru Impreza WRX STI.
But worse was to come….
Leanne was up to fifth, Garth sixth and MPC teammate Aaron Cameron seventh in his Volkswagen Golf GTI approaching Honda when it all kicked off.
Contact between Cameron and Garth sent the latter into Leanne leaving both Audi’s spinning, while the Volkswagen managed to escape down the access road.
“I think it was Moff who went off at 1 and came back on in front of us,” Garth stated.
“He didn’t mean to, he just came back on in front of us and we had nowhere to go, and both Andre and I came together. I had damage, but the car seemed okay then coming into Turn 4 I think Aaron hit me into the back, then hit me into Leanne and it’s done a fair bit of damage now.
“Hopefully Leanne’s car isn’t too bad and we can get the Audis up the front again.”
All three MPC entries started the final race of the weekend where many leading contenders were taken out in an opening corner clash.
Cameron recovered to finish third, right ahead of Garth in fourth, while Leanne finished 10th after placing 13th in Race 2 post-spin.