The barnstorming finish to this year’s Bathurst 1000 that saw Shane Van Gisbergen cross the line just one second ahead of Chas Mostert was a fitting finish to an event that finally saw the end of Holden’s participation in the great race after a history dating back to 1963.
Van Gisbergen’s co-driver was Garth Tander, who has a long association with Fleetcare going back to his earliest racing days when he learnt his craft as a driver in Formula Ford for the Fastlane racing team.
Formula Ford has been a nursery for many aspiring race drivers, including Daniel Ricciardo, who drove for Fastlane.
Fleetcare has continued its association with Garth for over 20 years, sponsoring him and even welcoming him as a guest blogger to Fleettorque where he’s contributed interesting articles on safety and life for a racing driver during the Covid lockdown.
By anyone’s standards Garth has had a stellar career in motorsport, winning everything from the Australian Formula Ford Championships through to the V8 Supercar championship series, and of course the Bathurst 1000, which he’s won no less than five times, always in Holdens.
So what’s next for Garth with Holden about to take its final bow in Supercars in Adelaide in December?
Well Holden’s reign might be done and dusted but General Motors’ participation will continue when the Chevrolet Camaro takes to the track next year when the sport introduces its Gen3 regulations.
The Camaro will be slugging it out with Ford’s Mustang, so that famous Ford vs General Motors dual will continue in a brand-new form, even if it does lack something of that cherished home-grown Aussie flavour.
It won’t be an entirely new experience for him, as he’s already tested a Camaro prototype in March this year.
The new Gen3 regulations promise to deliver some exciting racing with the smaller rear wings reducing downforce by 60 to 70% and enhancing the spectacle.
Organisers say that with less reliance on engineering and data, the emphasis will be on the skill of the drivers, all of which should sue to Garth just fine.
There’ll be new engines and those cars will look familiar with more of a likeness to the models you’ll be seeing on the roads.
And when the rubber hits the road, it’s a fair bet that you’ll still be seeing Garth Tander out amongst the leaders behind the wheel of a Camaro for some time to come.