Leanne TanderFleetcare TanderSport driver Leanne Tander has high hopes that the 2007 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship is hers to win.

It’s been a strong preseason for the 25-year-old driver; continuity within her TanderSport outfit, new sponsors signing up to the program and a two solid days of testing at Sydney’s Eastern Creek are all factors leaving both team and driver confident of success when the Gold Star Championship kicks off in just a weeks time.

TanderSport was formed by the Sydney born, Melbourne-based driver and her V8 Supercar driver husband Garth at the end of 2005 and gained momentum throughout last year, propelling Leanne to two podiums, ten top-ten finishes, a pole position and an eventual fifth place in the championship.

The first key part to propelling Leanne to history as the first ever female race winner in an Australian Drivers Championship event has been the confirmation that the team’s naming-rights partner, Fleetcare, has returned to the team for the 2007 season.

Fleetcare is Australia’s largest privately-owned Fleet Management companies and has been a long time supporter of both Garth and Leanne’s driving careers.

“We passionately believe in the importance of encouraging all young people to acquire and develop the skills inherent in motor sport,” said Fleetcare Managing Director Nigel Malcolm.

“Responsibility, mutual respect, prudence, intelligent risk-taking, accountability… All these characteristics are needed if you are going to succeed in life.

“By helping the careers of young drivers we try to help them inspire thousands of other young people to emulate the racing drivers’ high standards of achievement and conduct. We are proud to say that Garth and Leanne have grown into fantastic role models for young Australians – and we like to think we’ve played a part in who they are today.” He said.

The second key part aiding Leanne’s confidence has been two full days of testing at Eastern Creek Raceway in Sydney, the venue for next weekend’s opening championship round.

“We’re really happy with the end result of the test,” she said.

”It didn’t start out so well because we had some understeer that took a while to go out of the car, but we made some changes and by the end of the day the car was really fast, faster than we’ve ever been there before.”

With a number of strong international and locally-based drivers entered for the championship season, The Tandersport team will face their toughest opposition since joining the ranks of Formula 3 racing when the field lines up at Eastern Creek.

Despite the added competition, Tander said that it only serves to further her drive to win.

”I think it’s really exciting to have the field we have on the grid,” She said.

”As far as I can see there are going to be nine or ten cars that will be real championship contenders, some we have seen before and some we haven’t. It’s hard to judge where I might actually be until we get to Eastern Creek but I’m really looking forward to it.

”I can’t wait to race them and hopefully beat them. I gave myself a two-year timeframe when we started last year with a championship win in the second year the aim,” she added.

“Judging on our pace from the last couple of rounds last year and the test days before this season I’m pretty confident that we’ll have the car speed – and then It’ll just be a matter of me putting it together in the races, being consistently at the front so that at the end of the year we’ll be in with a shot at the championship.”

Fleetcare TanderSport’s 2007 campaign kicks off at the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport event, At Eastern Creek Raceway in Sydney, on February 2 – 4.

TanderSport thank the ongoing support of their sponsors Fleetcare, HSV, Holden, Greenwood & Freehills, Valvoline, Web105.com.au and My105.com