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Mini Challenge ‘Home-Coming’ For Leanne Tander - (Australia)

May 2nd, 2008


Fresh from a victory in the Australian Formula 3 Championship last weekend, Leanne Tander is poised to become the first female racer in the Australian MINI CHALLENGE at Barbagallo Raceway, when she pilots a second MINI CHALLENGE UBER-STAR CAR in support of the BigPond 400 – May 9-11.

Melbourne-based Leanne is the wife of Perth local hero – V8 Supercar champion, Garth Tander – who heads to his home race on a high after a last round victory in New Zealand. It will be a home-coming of sorts for Leanne in both a family and racing sense.

“I know a lot of people in Perth through racing there in the past and naturally through Garth,” says Leanne. “It will be good to see family and catch up with some good friends. I just hope they don’t forget that I’m racing too!

“MINI CHALLENGE will be different to the F3, but having driven front-wheel drive production cars in the Production Car Championship and in the Bathurst 12 Hour, I don’t think the switch will worry me too much,” Leanne continued. “My Formula Ford was based in Western Australia, so I’ve done plenty of laps at Barbagallo, but it’s been a while since I’ve been there, so hopefully I remember
which way the track goes!”

Leanne is arguably Australia’s most credentialed female race driver, becoming the first lady racer in the world to win a Formula 3 race and in 2007, she went perilously close to wrapping up the Australian F3 Championship. She currently lies fourth in the 2008 F3 Championship.

Racing in the MINI CHALLENGE UBER-STAR CAR – designed to bring a broader focus to MINI CHALLENGE at each round through engaging high profile personalities from the areas of sports, entertainment and media – will give Leanne the opportunity to occupy herself throughout the weekend whilst also watching Garth compete.

“I usually get pretty bored when I’m at the race track watching Garth!” Leanne laughed. “I’m a terrible spectator, I’d much rather be racing myself!”

MINI CHALLENGE is a single-make motor racing Series utilising identical MINI John Cooper Works CHALLENGE racecars. Internationally, the Series is conducted in Germany, the UK and New Zealand. A female competitor, Stephanie Halm, won the opening round of the German MINI CHALLENGE in mid-April.

Former Wallabies and Queensland Reds winger, Ben Tune will pilot the other UBER-STAR CAR during the Barbagallo weekend when MINI CHALLENGE supports the BigPond 400 – the fourth round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series.

Race two of the three races in Perth will be broadcast live on the Seven Network on Sunday May 11 and a half hour post-produced program will be shown on Seven on May 31 at 1:30pm nationally.

Round 1: March 7-9 – Eastern Creek, Sydney, NSW (Round Winner: Neil McFadyen)
Round 2: April 4-6 – Wakefield Park, Goulburn, NSW* (Round Winner: Nathan Geier)
Round 3: May 9-11 – Barbagallo, Perth, WA
Round 4: June 7-9 – Sandown, Melbourne, Vic
Round 5: September 12-14 – Phillip Island, Vic
Round 6: October 9-12 – Mount Panorama, Bathurst, NSW
Round 7: November 21-23 – Symmons Plains, Tasmania
Round 8: December 4-7 – Oran Park, Sydney, NSW

*Denotes V8 Supercar Development Series round

MINI CHALLENGE POINTS STANDINGS (Top 10 – after 2 of 8 rounds):
1 Grant Denyer 306
2 Neil McFadyen 294
3 Nathan Geier 282
4 Paul Stokell 270
5 Paul Fiore 252
6 Gary Young 174
7 Dave Turner 144
8 Iain Sherrin 117
9 Todd Fiore 105
10 Michael Stillwell 81

Round 3 – Barbagallo Raceway – LIVE TV: Race Two, Sunday, May 11 (Seven Network)
Round 3 Highlights: Saturday, May 31 – 1:30pm (Nationally) (Seven Network)

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