The Clayton squad ended its 26-year reign as the Holden factory team on a high with a pole position and two second place finishes at last weekend's Coates Hire Sydney 500.
From next year the operation will undergo arguably its biggest shift with the famous Holden Racing Team brand moving to rivals Triple Eight, who will become the sole Holden factory supported team.
The upturn in performance in Sydney arrived after a turbulent campaign that yielded just two wins as the team struggled for pace and consistency particularly in the first half of the year.
However, a strong end to the campaign has left team boss Walkinshaw feeling optimistic about his team's chances in 2017.
However, details regarding the team's new look are yet to be announced.
“We have got plenty of work to do and everyone has got to step their game up as ever in the off-season,” Walkinshaw told Speedcafe.com.
“I'm much more confident about 2017 now than I was six months ago.
“There is still a lot of work to do but at least we have got something to work with.
“We will have a bit of time off and give the guys a bit of a break as they have been working hard, but we will come back fighting next year.”
Coupled with the loss of factory support, the team moves into 2017 without Tander, who ended a 12-year stint at the outfit last Sunday.
The 39-year-old, who is yet to announce his plans for 2017, produced two gutsy drives to second in his final round with the team.
He leaves the team as the last driver to score a victory under the Walkinshaw/HRT banner following his success at this year's Sandown 500.
Walkinshaw admitted it was emotional witnessing Tander's final drive for the team and paid tribute to the 2007 champion.
“Garth did everything he could to try and get that win and he was never going to go down without a fight,” he added.
“He has been an incredible driver for this team and has given us so much. It was nice he able to go out on a high.
“I grew up watching him as a kid and I always thought he was legend of the sport.
“I'm proud of all the guys and it gives us something to work on for next year.
“I think everyone was hoping for the win. The cars had the speed but we just didn't capitalise on it but second is still a decent and fair result.”