GRM dumps Tander out of Supercars
Garth Tander has been sensationally dumped from his latest Supercars home at Garry Rogers Motorsport in favour of next-generation sensation Richie Stanaway and a sponsorship with youth-focused telco Boost Mobile.
Stanaway left Tickford Racing after a tumultuous first campaign in the sport, and now replaces Tander to pair with James Golding, 22, at the rebranded outfit.
Team owner Garry Rogers said the decision to effectively retire the 41-year-old from full-time racing was not easy, but essential.
“There were many aspects to my decision including that Garth was nearing the end of his career and (had) expressed that 2019 could be his final full-time season as a driver,” he said.
“This weighed heavily on me. In a perfect world I would absolutely have loved to give Garth the send off that such a champion deserves, but I never lost sight that motorsport, although centred around the driver, is about the team and not any one individual”.
In a statement, Tander said he was processing the decision.
“I’m grateful for the start that Garry gave me in Supercars and understand his decision to end my full time driving career,” he said.
“I’m now going to take a deep breath and consider my future that won’t be at GRM, I wish the team well for the future.”
It was Rogers who handed Tander his first full-time drive, back in 1998, with the firebrand rewarding the team with its only Bathurst triumph in 2000.
Tander would claim the 2007 championship for the HSV Dealer Team before returning to GRM in 2017.
The lack of open full-time slots for the 41-year-old makes Tander’s future in the sport murky at best.
For Stanaway, there’s sunshine after the storm.
The highly-rated 27-year-old railed against Tickford’s lack of competitiveness in 2018, and was chastised by his team after a series of petulant outbursts.
Rogers, though, has seen enough in the 2017 Sandown 500 champion to keep him in the series, and Stanaway has promised his full effort.
“I am excited and thankful to GRM and Boost Mobile for giving me a chance to race in one of the greatest championships in the world,” he said.
“My approach last year and my attitude which often stemmed from my own frustration was the wrong approach at times.
“I am committed to give it 100 per cent and do what it takes as a team to win.”
GRM said Boost Mobile had committed to a multi-year partnership with the team.