Home' V8X Supercar Magazine : Jun Jul 2018 Issue 105 Contents SUPERCAR XTRA
You’ve never been afraid to make fun of yourself,
have you, Garry?
GR: No, I have not. My philosophy on that is if you can
make people laugh, even if it’s at the expense of your-
self, then you should. As long as it’s not detrimental to
anyone, then that’s good. These days, it’s hard because I
can’t bend over to put all the fancy clothes on, and I hate
to say that because I love doing it. You probably remem-
ber me dropping my dacks for an ad in the Waverley
Gazette (my local newspaper when I was growing up).
BR: One of the real early dress-ups was at Winton when
Tander and Bargwanna were on the front row, and you
had the desk on the grid between the cars. It was Bill
Clinton (former US president) sitting at the desk and
Monica Lewinski was under it. Would you get away with
GR: We should do things like that today. What’s wrong
with the world if you can’t have a bit of fun?
Supercars sadly lacks characters, doesn’t it?
GR: Oh, it does. And it lacks aggravation. People need
to have fights along pitlane. A bit of pro wrestling-style
theatre wouldn’t go astray.
Where does Garth Tander fit into all of this
because when he rejoined GRM part of the attrac-
tion for him was a future management role?
GR: Well, there’ll be a role for him, whether it’s manage-
ment or something else. We don’t have managers.
Garth might see it differently.
BR: We’ve spoken with him about a few things, whether
it’s totally racing orientated or in our other businesses.
Garth has a good brain and not just in racing, but also
business in general, so we would think that after his
racing days that there’d be an opportunity within the
business. No doubt, motorsport-wise, his brain would
be an asset.
GR: He’s commercially smart. I think what Barry is allud-
ing to is that we do other things. We build a few things,
we build a few factories, we buy a bit of stuff and we cut
up a bit of land. We do a whole lot of things. Most people
would know we have a marina in Tassie and we have a
whole lot of things going on.
I think Garth will be driving here for X amount of
time, both in the championship and then perhaps in
the enduros, and he’ll increasingly give Barry a hand.
That’s what we’re thinking and what we spoke about.
But there’s nothing in concrete like he will be a share-
holder or anything like that. We don’t have shareholders.
What we do is encourage people we think can do good
for us and them, and get rewarded accordingly. And
that’s pretty much how we would see it working with
Garth somewhere along the line. And since the initial
discussions, we’ve not really talked about it much more.
It’ll happen one day, I’m sure.
Going back to a team where you started doesn’t
often work, but it has for Garth. Why is it work-
ing so well?
GR: People thought when Garth left here that there
were some sour grapes, but there were never any sour
grapes between us.
I realised that the opportunity that he got to go to
Walkinshaws (HSV Dealer Team in 2005), financially,
There was no way we could pay that sort of money to
keep him. We were never bosom buddies, but we always
remained friendly and when the chance came up to get
him back from where he was, I spoke to Barry about it
and we agreed that I should talk to Garth and
just see if he was interested.
I did and he was happy to come
here. The good things was that
he was confident we had the
right team in place and we
were financially stable
We can’t go and spend
billions of dollars, but we
don’t go without for what’s
really necessary to try to
get your best result.
He’d had success in his
racing career, his family was
well set up and he was happy
to come back here.
It’s worked because we knew
what we were getting and he knew
what he was getting into.
It wasn’t like we painted a glossy picture to get him
here. In fact, quite the opposite, I would have thought.
BR: I would’ve also said a big reason why his coming here
has been a success is the attitude he’s brought with him.
In the early 2000s, he was really trying to make his
mark in Supercars and it was all about Garth.
He was a young and aggressive guy, and it was all
about him. But as much as he hasn’t lost that com-
petitive edge, he’s matured a lot and he’s much more
He’s great with young ‘Bieber’ (James Golding), men-
toring him rather than regarding him as a threat. He
has an overall view of the team, not just what’s good
for Garth Tander.
He came back a different and more mature person.
GR: Twenty years older.
BR: But he hasn’t lost that aggressive edge. He might
seem a bit softer, but he’s not soft out there on the track.
GR: He’s a hard racer.
And he had a tough act to follow, replacing Scott
GR: Of course he did. But it’s a different time and a dif-
ferent age thing.
It must have been a big blow to lose McLaughlin,
even though it was inevitable.
GR: It happens. Deal with it, move on. It’s like when
Tander left first time around. People asked how we’d
get around that. Well, the fact is, you do. You find a way
and you move on.
“I’M THE OLD
WISDOM, BUT BASIL
IS THE BRAINS OF THE
VITALITY, THE ENERGY,
JUST DRIVING US
SX105 p52-58 Foges Rogers.indd 57
25/5/18 1:32 pm
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