Sandown celebrations for Tander were dramatically ended, however, when he was informed just three days later that he'd be replaced by Scott Pye for 2017.
Despite being dumped, Tander says he'll head to Bathurst confident of another strong result in what doubles as the team's last Bathurst flying the HRT flag.
Tander has been responsible for two of the HRT's finest Bathurst wins, breaking up a period of Triple Eight domination with triumphs in 2009 and 2011.
“The news that I won't be staying at Walkinshaw Racing for next year is disappointing and not the best preparation going into the biggest race of the year,” Tander concedes.
“But as an athlete when you pull your helmet on, the last thing you're thinking about is that.
“We'll park all that to one side and focus on this race.
“There'd be nothing better than winning this race on the 10th year since Peter Brock's passing.
“We're taking winning form into the biggest race of the year and I think we've got a car that's capable of getting the job done.”
Tander's form took a major upswing when he received a new chassis for Sydney Motorsport Park in August.
The new car replaced the chassis that had proven a repeated frustration since returning from major repairs following its 2014 Bathurst crash.
Tander's public criticism of the car is understood to have caused friction with the team's management.
Despite the issues, Tander sits three places ahead of James Courtney in the point standings, having already beaten the 2010 champion in four of their five seasons together as team-mates.
Hear more from Tander in the below video