Home' V8X Supercar Magazine : Jun Jul 2018 Issue 105 Contents 60 SUPERCARXTRA
t all began at Phillip Island in April, 1998. A lanky
21-year-old from Western Australia named
Garth Tander was thrust into his Supercars
debut with Garry Rogers Motorsport (GRM).
Tander had won the 1997 Australian Formula
Ford Championship and was set to graduate into For-
mula Holden the following season, only to be unable
to raise the necessary budget. But his career fortunes
turned when GRM’s regular driver Steven Richards
took a job as test driver with Nissan in the Brit-
ish Touring Car Championship. Tander was
promoted into the Supercars drive, kicking
off what would be a storied career.
“It was a tough initiation,” reflects Tander.
“There weren’t a lot of young drivers in the
category back then and the established driv-
ers were still there. It was tough to learn how
to race against them and I made a lot of
mistakes, crashed a few cars, but
Garry [Rogers] stood by me
and we went racing again
the following season.”
Twenty years on and
Tander is still racing
for Rogers. He’s gone
from the rookie in
the field to one of
in 2000 and
going on to
add another two
Great Race wins
success at the fac-
stable (HSV Dealer Team
and Holden Racing Team).
When it was time to move on,
Tander returned to where it all
began last season.
“There were a few offers on the table here in Australia,
like with GRM, and a few offers on the table overseas,”
“You look at what they did with Volvo and even when
I signed for Garry, we weren’t sure what was going on
with Volvo. It was very much about how the team has
performed over the years. And, also, there were some
attractive things as far as opportunities post-driving, so
for me it was a no-brainer.
“It was very comfortable and the negotiation took
all of about 30 seconds, to be honest. It was very, very
easy. Both parties wanted to work together and away
In the 12 years he was away there have been some
changes at GRM. The team went from being a Holden
team to the factory-backed Volvo outfit and then back
again to Holden, while Barry Rogers is taking over the
management side from father Garry.
“Back then we probably had around eight to 10 full-
time staff and now it’s 35 full-time staff,” says Tander.
“You look at the GRM Commodore days, pre-Volvo,
they’re all competitive. The Volvo era was also very com-
petitive and, obviously, we still are today.
“I knew Barry when I first moved to Melbourne and
joined the team in 1998. I lived with Baz for about
12 months so it’s very comfortable and very natural
together. And 12 months down the track, the settling-in
period is done and it’s all about getting on with business
and trying to make the cars as fast as we can.”
While GRM is known for its production line of young
talent, who have often moved on to achieve success
elsewhere, Tander is determined to give back. With a
Bathurst 1000 win with the team, there is the ultimate
goal of a maiden title for GRM.
“Having seen what resources other teams have availa-
ble to them, financial, personnel and equipment, I think
what GRM do with what they have is exceptional,” says
“It is actually far and away the team that punches
above its weight the most with the resources that it has
at its disposal. And that’s not saying that we feel like we
have a disadvantage but what we do with what we have,
having been in the factory team and seen all that stuff,
it still impresses me every day.
“We want to be winning races and, for me personally, I
still want to win some races with the team. That is what
we are in this business for.”
Tander is now the senior driver at GRM, helping to
mentor the latest young talent to be given his big break
in the category with the team. He was racing in the Aus-
tralian Formula Ford Championship when teammate
James Golding was born in 1996. Golding was co-driver
WORDS Adrian Musolino IMAGES Supercars, James Baker
Garth Tander leads Garry Rogers Motorsport
in the second year of his second stint with the
team, embracing the role of senior team leader
and guide to James Golding.
SX105 p60-61 Garth Tander.indd 60
25/5/18 1:33 pm
Links Archive Apr May 2018 Issue 104 Aug Sep 2018 Issue 106 Navigation Previous Page Next Page