The #97 ZB Commodore
Garth Tander has explained the intricacies of working with a new engineer as he prepares for next weekend’s Repco Bathurst 1000.
Tander will partner Shane van Gisbergen at Red Bull Ampol Racing, marking the pairing’s fourth Great Race together.
Van Gisbergen welcomed a new race engineer in Andrew Edwards at the start of this season, the second change in as many years for Car #97.
Ahead of the Mount Panorama enduro, co-driver Tander has also had to adjust to a new voice over the radio.
With van Gisbergen’s absence from Wednesday’s pre-Bathurst hit out, Tander was afforded a solo test day, fine-tuning the communication with Edwards.
“It’s been pretty seamless,” Tander told Speedcafe.com.
“Just making sure we understand the language that each of us use; I’ll always try and tailor my language to fit in with what Andrew and Shane have already established this year.
“That’s not as easy to do without Shane [present at the test] but it’s working well.
“It’s handy because after 10 laps I felt fine,” he added of the day at Queensland Raceway.
“So from this point on it’s actually more about the communication with Andrew and stuff like that.
“Obviously he’s a new engineer to the team this year; he and Shane have worked together all year but this will be the first weekend we’ve worked together.
“Being able to spend more time on that has been handy and it’s also just good to get in the car and sweat it out.
“You can train your arse off in the lead-up to the race but actually driving the race car, that’s what makes all the difference.”
The team performed pit stop practice with both drivers at Triple Eight’s Banyo workshop last week before van Gisbergen left for New Zealand.
“We did a heap of driver change practice last week at the workshop and surprised Andrew how quick two big tall blokes can get in and out of a race car,” added Tander.
“We’re pretty comfortable with that…it’s not like it’s our first time either, we’ve done it before together.”
Tander will put his TV broadcast role with Supercars Media aside over the Bathurst weekend to focus on the co-drive, as was the case last year.
Opening practice at Mount Panorama begins at 11:00 AEDT on Thursday, October 6.