Bathurst winner sensationally splits with team

Triple Eight Race Engineering has confirmed Garth Tander will not race for the team in the 2023 Bathurst 1000.

It comes off the back of his fifth Bathurst 1000 win, which he claimed with three-time Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen.

Tander’s future has already been confirmed with Grove Racing signing the veteran on a two-year deal.

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It will mark the first time Tander has ever raced a Ford in his illustrious career.

“With the imminent arrival of Gen3 coming in 2023, I’m excited to get started and help the team wherever I can,” said Tander.

“I would also like to thank everyone at Triple Eight Race Engineering for the last four years.

“To have the opportunity to win Bathurst in 2020 and 2022, with SVG, added another chapter to my career and that’s something I am very grateful for.”

Tander made 24 starts in the Great Race, winning his first title in 2000 with Garry Rogers Motorsport in what was only his third start alongside Jason Bargwanna.

His second triumph came nearly a decade later, driving for the factory Holden Racing Team with Will Davison.

He didn’t have to wait long for this third title, winning the 2011 edition again with the Holden Racing Team but with rookie Nick Percat.

Tander joined Triple Eight Race Engineering in 2019 alongside Shane van Gisbergen, finishing runner-up that year before winning the 2020 running.

The pair claimed their final win together this year, winning in Holden’s final showing at Mount Panorama.

“GT has been a well-respected member of the Triple Eight team for the past four years, and we must acknowledge his remarkable contribution to the team which includes two Bathurst 1000 wins,” said Triple Eight Race Engineering team principal Jamie Whincup.

“Although we’re disappointed that he has decided not to renew his contract for next year, we must respect his decision.”

It means van Gisbergen will have a new co-driver for the 2023 season.

Exactly who might join the Kiwi remains to be seen. Although the New Zealander suggested Scott McLaughlin might like to join him.

McLaughlin asked, “Do you want to race Bathurst together?”

To which van Gisbergen replied, “That would be all right. Well, you are a Chevy driver now.”

Whincup confirmed the team would be looking locally and abroad for a potential replacement.

He has used the services of Porsche racers Matt Campell and Earl Bamber before as well as 2019 Bathurst 1000 winner Alex Premat in recent years.

“The search for his replacement is in full swing and I’m looking forward to speaking with drivers both domestic and abroad to find the best fit to co-pilot #97 alongside SVG for next year’s Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000,” Whincup concluded.

The 2023 Bathurst 1000 will see the all-new Gen3-specification Supercars race for the first time at Mount Panorama.

Next season gets underway on the streets of Newcastle on March 10-12.

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