Tander confirmed for Bathurst

Local hero, Garth Tander will once again head to the Mountain with Audi in 2020.

The countdown is on to the 2020 running of the Bathurst 12 Hour, and Garth Tander is confirmed to again drive an Audi R8 LMS at Mount Panorama.

Mark Horsburgh

2 January, 2020

Tander is no stranger to racing at Mount Panorama or to driving the Audi R8 LMS GT3 car

With the 2020 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour now just weeks away, Australian motorsport legend, Garth Tander has been confirmed to drive one of a three-strong Audi Sport Team Valvoline assault on the country’s most famous race track.

Tander is no stranger to racing at Mount Panorama or to driving the Audi R8 LMS GT3 car, having g previously won the Bathurst 1000 three times and competed with the Audi Sport customer racing outfit on numerous occasions both at Bathurst and in the Australian GT and Endurance Championships.

Indeed, in the later, Tander again partnered Geoff Emery to an outright victory in 2019 – the first time Audi had claimed the endurance title, while Emery also notched up his third Australian GT Championship in a row, giving Audi a total of five in that championship.

For this year’s Bathurst 12 Hour, Tander’s driving teammates are yet to be named, but the mix is expected to be similar to past years with a mix of Australian and international drivers from the Audi Sport team. 

“Garth has been an integral part of the team since 2016 where he first drove with me and Rene Rast,” Audi Sport Team Valvoline owner Steve McLaughlan said of Tander’s confirmation for the race.

“Since then he’s helped move the whole team forward, something we saw most evident during this year’s Australian GT endurance series where he was instrumental in helping Geoff Emery to Audi’s first ever endurance championship crown.”

The 2020 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour marks the 10th anniversary of Audi’s first victory in the gruelling endurance race, when Christopher Mies, Marc Basseng and Darryl O’Young took the first of what now stands at three victories in the race. Audi successfully defended its title the following year in 2012 and an R8 LMS wearing the famed Kangaroo livery of that year is currently on display in the National Motor Racing Museum at Bathurst.

Audi again claimed the coveted title in 2018 with Robin Frijns, Stuart Leonard and Dries Vanthoor to make it three and make Audi the most successful manufacturers in the history of the race.

Victory in the race has so far eluded Tander who is keen to add this scalp to his formidable collection of racing titles. In the past he has come close, but misfortune has seen he and his teammates come up short. 

“As a former Bathurst 1000 and Bathurst 24 Hour winner, his knowledge of Mount Panorama is without question, so we will again be looking to him to get the team up to speed from Friday’s opening practice session,” says McLaughlan. 

“Bathurst is always unpredictable, but it keeps drawing you back, and this year, we’re looking for another solid result,” noted McLaughlan.

“Last year both the #2 and [Tander’s] #22 cars led the race, and each year – despite immense competition from some of the best teams in the world – we’ve qualified and run well inside the lead pack, so this year we’ve added a third tier, and we’re out for a podium finish.”

In all, five Audi R8 LMS GT3 cars are expected to take part in the race, with the final announcement of the other drivers to be made closer to the event. With practice getting underway on Friday, January 31, the teams will qualify on Saturday with the Top 10 Shootout to be held on Saturday evening.

Come Sunday morning (February 2), the teams will be lined up and ready to go at 5:45am, and Garth Tander will be hoping to hold the trophy aloft 12 action-packed hours later.

Audi is the most successful manufacturer in the Bathurst 12 hour with three victories and will be looking to extend that lead this year