Holdens eye Symmons success

The Holdens in the V8 Supercars field at Symmons Plains this weekend are eying a major landmark.

The 14 Commodores have the chance to claim the dominant manufacturer’s 500th Supercars race win and its expected to spark a major scramble among the Holdens for a slice of history.

Factory-backed outfit Holden Racing Team duo James Courtney and Garth Tander are among the drivers most eager to leave Tasmania with a champagne-soaked race suit.

On top of the record, the pair both have monkeys to throw off their backs.

For all of his success, Courtney doesn’t have a race win on the Apple Isle.

And Tander is eager to break one of the longest dry spells of his career, with a last win coming at Townsville in 2014.

Tander said on Thursday the milestone landmark had the strong field of Holdens ready to hit the road.

“Every Holden driver in pit lane is pretty keen for Saturday afternoon’s race because they think they can grab it,” he said.

“When you’ve finished driving and are sitting on the couch trying to tell your kids how awesome you were `look, I got Holdens 500th race win’ would be a really nice stat to have.”

The 2007 championship winner said he was not phased by his 21-month streak without a win.

“It’s been a little while between drinks,” he said.

“But the car’s heading in the right direction and we’re starting to get a bit of momentum going.”

Courtney, who has entered his 10th season as a full-time driver but is still to take a win in Tasmania, says his sharp form makes a breakthrough success as likely as ever.

“First and second at Clipsal. On the Sunday (I) went out while leading and then finished fourth at the Grand Prix,” he said.

“I’ve had a couple of great races with Jamie this year.

“I don’t mind this little place. On paper it looks pretty boring but to actually drive around here, it’s got a lot of tricky little parts.”

Courtney said the racing would improve on 2015, when Craig Lowndes and the Red Bull Racing team dominated, due to format changes.

The unpopular two 60km races have been replaced this year by a single 120km event Courtney says will throw up better racing and more unpredictable results.

“I’s much better,” he said.

“The format clearly didn’t work last year and good on Supercars for noticing that and listening to what the public wanted.

“We’re going to have to come in and stop. There’s going to be more strategy involved … (with more) chances for things to go right or wrong in pit stops and chance to make up times.”

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