Tander scores pair of top 10 finishes in Abu Dhabi

The Holden Racing Team’s Garth Tander has scored a pair of top 10 finishes taking the chequered flag seventh and fifth in Races 24 and 25 of the 2012 V8 Supercars Championship at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi.

Starting from sixth position in both of today’s races, Tander made two good starts and was able to race competitively within the lead group on both occasions.

This morning’s first 12-lap sprint saw Tander battle hard with Team Vodafone’s Craig Lowndes throughout the duration of the race only to be reeled in and passed by a fast finishing Mark Winterbottom to drop one spot to finish seventh.

After a very short one hour turnaround, today’s second race was quickly underway. Tander again made good progress early passing Lee Holdsworth for fifth. After breaking away from the battle pack by the mid race point, the 2007 V8 Supercar Champion was able to maintain his track position through to race end.

Unfortunately for teammate James Courtney, today’s first race did not unfold as he would have liked. Courtney was involved in a first lap scuffle that damaged the steering on his #2 HRT Commodore – his race was over.

Determined to re-group for the second sprint, Courtney started from 11th position and circulated within the battle back from the outset. Despite racing closely with Lowndes during the first half of the encounter, car #22 lacked race pace and Courtney lost three positions to finish 14th.

Garth Tander, #2 Holden Racing Team Holden VE Commodore Series II:

“The car was not a good as we would have liked in the first race today but I was able to press on and managed to hang on for seventh.

“We made some changes in the lead-up to race two and the car was much better but unfortunately we did not have the outright speed to hang on to the top four and we finished a little further behind in fifth.

“We’ll have another look at it now as we push to move forward again during tomorrow’s race.”

James Courtney, #22 Holden Racing Team Holden VE Commodore Series II:

“The first race today was over before it began. I was caught up in a battle for position early and my steering was damaged. Seeing that it was such a short race, it was game over for us.

“The second race was a little better but the car was not performing as well as I would have liked. I enjoyed the battle with Craig (Lowndes) but he eventually got past me and I didn’t have the pace to hang on.

“We’ll make some further changes this afternoon and have another crack at it tomorrow.”