Holden Racing Team's Tander and Courtney Split Over Holden State Of Origin

4 July 2013

The famous Holden Racing Team’s Garth Tander and James Courtney have sensationally split their allegiances ahead of this weekend’s Sucrogen Townsville 400.

The inter-garage turmoil has been spurred by Holden’s partnership with the National Rugby League and naming rights sponsorship of the annual State Of Origin.

Tander and Courtney’s HRT VF Commodores will carry the official Holden State Of Origin logo on their bonnets for this weekend’s seventh round of the V8 Supercars Championship.

The Origin logo on Tander’s #2 Holden will be featured against a Queensland Maroon background, while Courtney’s #22 Commodore will backed by New South Wales Blue – the difference in colours creating a new rivalry within the HRT garage.

Following last week’s 26 – 6 win by the Maroons at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, the Origin series is tied at one win apiece.

“This is every kid’s dream, competing in the Origin colours of their home state, I love it and can’t wait to get out there wearing NSW Blue,” Courtney said.

“I’m passionate about my Sydney ‘Westie’ heritage and I’m a huge Origin fan – the plan is to avenge our defeat in Origin II last week by getting the Blues HRT Commodore out front and keeping it there.”

Tander said he was happy to become an honorary Queenslander for the weekend.

“I might be from Western Australia but I’m a big fan of League and the Melbourne Storm. The Storm’s Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk are the backbone of the Queensland side so this weekend I’ll proudly wear QLD Maroon in their honour,” Tander said.

“Going by the reception for the Blues last week [in Origin II at Suncorp Stadium] James is heading into enemy territory.

“The first goal in motorsport has always been to beat your team-mate and that’s never been truer than this weekend.

“He had a good run in Darwin, but if we can turn the tables then I’m looking forward to seeing James’ face when the ‘Queenslander’ chant goes up!”

Courtney scored HRT’s first pole of the season in Darwin, also scoring two podiums, second and third place finishes, while Tander was among the top five all weekend.

Tander currently lies eighth in the V8 standings, with Courtney not far behind in ninth.

Courtney was the event’s inaugural winner in 2009 while Tander has also scored a pole, a number of podiums and race win on the Reid Park street circuit.

Practice for the Sucrogen Townsville 400 commences this Friday, with 200km races on Saturday and Sunday and refuelling required in each race.

Teams have been allocated 12 hard and eight soft tyres for the event with both compounds of tyres having to be run in each race.

Refuelling will be required in each race with teams also using both the hard and soft tyre compounds for the event.

The third and deciding Holden State Of Origin match will be held at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on Wednesday, 17 July.