Leanne Tander is set to step back into V8 Supercar racing ahead of schedule as she gears up for this weekend's Fujitsu Series round at Winton Raceway with support from Wilson Security Racing.
The wife of 2007 senior series champion Garth, Tander was slated to return to the V8 Supercar table at this year's endurance rounds, but WSR has since acquired Jason Bright's 2008-spec Ford Falcon to enable her to rack up valuable miles ahead of the end-of-season dates. Run by the family TanderSport equipe
, but coming under the overall WSR umbrella, Tander will compete with the #222 plate to bridge the number sequence of WSR's #111 and #333 entries run by Fabian Coulthard and Michael Patrizi in the senior V8 series.
"Running in additional rounds in the V8 Development Series this year was something that we discussed very early on, and it has taken a huge effort to pull this together," Tander noted, "Thanks to Wilson Security Racing, acquiring this car has created the opportunity to make our start in the Development Series – not just this year, but potentially as an ongoing programme into next season, even if I'm not the one racing in the car."
Tander first came to prominence in the V8 Supercar Development Series where she became the first woman to stand on the podium, but last raced in V8s in 2002 as she focused on a single-seater career. She is now looking to improve on her previous success in the category, having finished as overall runner-up in the national F3 championship for the past two seasons.
"I'm really looking forward to racing a V8 Supercar again," Tander enthused, "The series has definitely stepped up a lot since  - it's much more professional, and there are more multi-car teams with better drivers.
"Having said that, I've also improved as a driver and I'll have a very good team behind me, so we can have a really good go at it. I'm very grateful to Wilson Security for their support to help get this up and running and make this opportunity a reality. This is very exciting for Tandersport, as we wanted to move into the Development Series, but haven't had the right opportunity to step up until now.
"Our plan is to run at least three rounds, but it will depend on acquiring more sponsors and funding. We are running under the Wilson Security Racing banner for this round, but we definitely need to find additional sponsors in order to continue - you can see the livery has been designed with plenty of free space to accommodate other sponsors coming on board..."
Despite the obvious link through their team, however, there will be no family help for Tander this weekend.
"Both Garth and I share ownership in the Tandersport team, but Garth will have no involvement in our V8 Development Series entry considering he is contracted to Holden - and he's too busy with his own V8 commitments anyway," Leanne admitted, "Instead, the programme will be run by a very capable team of people we have working with us – they're a very competent bunch and between them have had experience V8s, F3, Carrera Cup, Formula Ford and Production Cars."
"Wilson Security has a great deal of faith in Leanne's ability," Wilson Security CEO John McMellan commented, "We are proud to create this opportunity for her to race the new #222 WSR car and help her to step up with her own team. Our support to help Leanne get this Development Series programme up and running at Tandersport is not just about getting her up to speed for the enduros, but also to help develop her career in the bigger picture."