Kart racers help tsunami victims

By CRAIG ROSScraigr@gladstoneobserver.com.au

MOTOR racing star Garth Tander reckons there'll be no taking it easy when he and his fellow V8 supercar drivers line up at the Gladstone Kart Club on January 29.

Tander will join the likes of Steve Ellery, Garth Walden, Paul Weel and Will Davison at the kart racing spectacular to raise funds for the APN Tsunami Appeal and he expects the action to be just as hotly contested as their V8 clashes. 'We're never friendly on the track,' Tander said yesterday. 'We're good mates off the track but we turn into feral animals and want to win when we're on it.'

Tander played down the efforts of the V8 contingent to get behind the fundraiser despite their competition season drawing nearer.

'It's a hugely important cause and...it's only a day or two of our time,' he said.

Tander boasts 10 years experience racing karts as a youngster. He said he hoped the fact it had been five or six years since he had driven one competitively would not hamper his performances on the day.

'Hopefully, it will be like riding a bike,' Tander said.

Tander, who was in Sydney yesterday for the announcement of Super Cheap Auto as Bathurst 1000's new naming rights sponsor, said he was looking forward to a fresh start in 2005.

After seven years with the Garry Rogers Motorsport (GRM) team, which included a Bathurst victory in 2000, Tander has found a new home with Kelly Racing, formerly Kmart Racing.

'I had mixed success there (at GRM) and I thought it was time for a change of scenery,' he said.

'The team (Kelly) has a very good pedigree.

'They've won Bathurst the last two times and are always in the top five. It was a no-brainer really ? I jumped at the chance.

'I'm looking forward to the year ahead.'

It was also announced yesterday that the Bathurst street circuit would undergo a $4.25 million redevelopment.

The January 29 event in Gladstone will also feature skydivers and bar and canteen facilities.

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