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Oz: Tander set for title challenge

1 January 1901

TanderSport will challenge for the Australian Formula 3 Championship title for the second time in as many seasons after Leanne Tander charged to within one point of the series lead with a win at Phillip Island.

Tander won the second race and led the majority of race one before an off on the final lap relegated her back to eighth place – but the overall results were enough to put her just one point behind leader James Winslow with only the final round of the championship left to run.

Earlier in the weekend Tander scored her fifth pole position of the year to start from the front in F3's 150th Australian Championship race, before qualifying third for race two, with his fourth win of the season on race day putting her in a strong position for the season finale.

“Race one was really disappointing; I just put my car on the wrong part of the track in the bad conditions and just spun,” Tander reflected. “I was quite lucky because I went into the gravel so I was fortunate to get out of it and get points. I was annoyed with myself with that but we came back in race two which was fantastic and made sure we're really in the fight.

”I didn't get a good start in race two but had great pace when my tyres were warm. I knew I had the pace to win and when they made it a bit easier for me by falling off the road in front of me I just made sure I brought it home and got the points.

”I'm going to approach Tassie the same way as I approach every race. At one point, I was 27 behind Winslow so to be one behind ahead of the final round is great and I'm not going to change my tactic which is to go out and try to win every race. If I can do that, everything will look after itself."

TanderSport's F3 National class duo of Mat Radisich and Ben Crighton continued their improvement with Radisich scoring his first – and TanderSports' second – class pole with a strong run in second qualifying on Saturday.

Race day didn't go to plan for the young Melbourne-based Kiwi, however, with a pair of DNFs that hindered his weekend – running off the circuit in treacherous conditions in race one before a coming together with team-mate Crighton in the second.

He recorded the quickest lap of the second race, however, to reinforce his continued improvement. Crighton also continued his drive towards the front and scored a strong third place in National Class in race one.


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