V8 SUPERCARS stalwart Garth Tander has embraced his increased competition, but admits he still wants to see Holden dominating the podium.
The Holden Racing Team's number one driver said while the strong performances of new manufacturers Volvo, Nissan and Mercedes were creating an exciting competition, there were some technical sureties that officials needed to get right to ensure the cars were as equal as possible.
``But that's going to be a challenge, as the more you introduce different shapes of cars and different types of cars, the more difficult that becomes,'' Tander said.
``It's important that the new manufacturers are competitive straight away so they don't feel disheartened, so getting the balance right with having the technical capabilities of being competitive straight away against Holden and Ford, that have got the experience and knowledge of V8 Supercar racing.
``If you park a Volvo next to a Commodore, you will see the Volvo is a much smaller car, so getting the aero-parity and things like that right is a challenge.
``I think it's pretty good and it's pretty close straight up, but everyone just needs to make sure that there's nothing going on, and it's as level a playing field as we can make it.''
The 36-year-old believed the evidence so far indicated that 2014 would be a tight season, without the ``two or three standouts'' of previous years.
``When you look at when the `Car of the Future' was introduced last year, the mix of winners was great, but it was still predominantly Holden and Ford doing the winning,'' he said.
``So here we are in year two, and obviously the Volvo is going quite strong, the Nissans are very competitive and the Mercedes are up there as well as the Falcons and the Commodores.
``From the V8 Supercars point of view, they've ticked all the boxes and delivered what they said they were going to deliver, which is great for the sport, although from a Holden point of view, we want to do the majority of the winning.''
Tander, ninth in the championship with 150 points after finishing 11th, seventh and 13th in Adelaide, will be returning to one of his favourite venues this weekend , having recorded seven race wins and four pole positions at Symmons Plains.
``When you look at it on paper, it just looks like you have three corners, but you have three very different and unique corners that require different driving styles and car set-ups,'' he said.
``So getting the best of those three corners is a challenge, and considering how tight it is qualifying and how close the lap times are, it's really important to get the most out of yourself and your car during a lap.
``It's one of those tracks that seem to suit the way I race and it sort of works.''
WHAT: Tyrepower Tasmania 400.
WHERE: Symmons Plains.
WHEN: Friday to Sunday.
Friday - 10.10am practice 1, 12.10pm practice 2, 2.05pm practice 3.
Saturday - 11.30am qualifying race 4, 11.50am; qualifying race 5; 2.35pm race 4; 4.35pm Race 5.
Sunday - 11.20am qualifying race 6; 3.55pm race 6.
MORE DETAILS: www.v8supercars.com.au.