Toll HRT will hope to impress in the L&H 500 at Phillip Island having elected to pair lead drivers Mark Skaife and Garth Tander together for the opening enduro event of the V8 Supercar Championship season.
Like a number of front-running outfits, including Ford Performance Racing and Team Vodafone, the team has elected to put its two regular drivers into one car for the race in an attempt to chase success, with Skaife and Tander joining forces in the #1 Holden Commodore for the weekend.
The weekend will include two short sprint races on Saturday which will be used to determine the starting line-up for the 500km main event itself and Tander, the current points leader, admitted that pairing him with Skaife would give the team a good chance of success.
“Pretty much everyone that's serious about [winning the 500] is putting their main guys together so that's going to be a little bit negated,” he said. “It's potentially going to be me versus Whincup and Winterbottom, and Mark versus Richards and Lowndes, so the calibre of driver we're each going to be competing against will still be high.
“It'll be an interesting weekend because the new races on Saturday, while they don't really mean much, there are some points attached to them. But really, the 500km race on Sunday is what we're really there for and I think it's the team that thinks on its feet strategy-wise will do the best, because we're not going to know what tyre life is going to be like until we get there.”
Skaife meanwhile said the new format would require a different approach to normal and said he felt the event would become something of a 'thinking mans race'.
“Sandown was a 500km sprint, but Phillip Island will be totally different – the format is a big change and it is going to make for a very interesting weekend,” he said. “The Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit is much harder on tyres and fuel, so it's going to be a thinking man's race, that's for sure.
“Qualifying may not be as important as it normally is, so we will try to concentrate on a tyre friendly setup on Friday.”
Glenn Seton and Craig Baird will be teamed together in the #2 car for the event.