Garth Tander on his successful GT partnership
Reigning Bathurst 1000 winner and Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS co-leader Garth Tander has explained why his partnership with Yasser Shahin is a success.
Tander and Shahin currently hold a 37-point margin from Triple Eight Race Engineering Mercedes-AMG GT3 driver Prince Jefri Ibrahim heading into the final round of the sprint season at Sandown on September 17-19.
Ibrahim joined by the returning Shane van Gisbergen are the only drivers to have defeated the Audi Sport Customer Racing Australia pair in the Pro-Am Class this season, courtesy of a charging drive by the Kiwi at Bathurst.
Shahin has put in many impressive performances this season, highlighted by a race deciding pass at Forrest’s Elbow on Ibrahim on his way to victory in the second event at Bathurst.
Speaking on the Parked Up podcast, Tander complimented the work undertaken by Shahin so far this season.
“Yasser’s done an amazing job,” Tander emphasised.
“In those events where you’re sharing with an Am driver and these guys are hugely successful business guys generally, but they’re ultimately very, very competitive.
“They’re competitive in business, they’re competitive in their motorsport as well.
“They’re very, very driven and very competitive.
“Yasser’s done a ton of work, a heap of work to continue to improve his driving. He does an awesome job, he really does.”
A key reason for the pair’s success is the team’s strategy focused on Shahin’s feeling driving the Audi R8 LMS Evo GT3.
“My role is really to make sure he feels as comfortable in the race car as he can at every race track,” said Tander.
“There’s no point in me doing an extra 20-minutes in practice and finding two tenths of a second where as if we can give Yasser that 20-minutes of practice and make him feel comfortable, then he finds big, big chunks of lap time.
“I’m out there racing against Chaz Mostert in another Audi, Shane van Gisbergen and Jamie Whincup. I’m probably not as fast as those guys, but it’s actually a definitive plan to make sure Yasser’s more comfortable because that’s where you get your bang for your buck in the lap time.”
Happy with the partnership so far, Tander knows the job isn’t complete just yet.
“It’s been working really well, we’re leading the championship and (we) have a reasonable points gap going into the final round, but it only takes one DNF and its game on,” he concluded.
The next round of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Powered by AWS will be held at Sandown on September 17-19.