'Massive shock' that upended Bathurst champ's career

4 months ago 146

Nearly 3 weeks connected from his drought-breaking Bathurst 1000 victory, Lee Holdsworth is inactive coming to presumption with being introduced arsenic a victor of Australia's astir celebrated race.

With conscionable 1 podium to amusement from his archetypal 17 attempts, the 38-year-old could person been forgiven for wondering if his clip had passed.

That was until helium teamed up with Chaz Mostert earlier this month, the brace mounting the gait each week and overcoming a mid-race tyre play to assertion the win.

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"I'm inactive pinching myself that it really happened," Holdsworth told Wide World of Sports from Queensland, wherever he's enjoying a summertime break.

"It shocks maine each clip idiosyncratic says 'Bathurst victor Lee Holdsworth' due to the fact that I've ne'er heard it for my full career. Chaz knows what it's like, having won before, but I'm inactive pinching myself. It's brainsick to deliberation my sanction volition ever enactment connected the Peter Brock Trophy."

Lee Holdsworth and Chaz Mostert connected the mode to their Bathurst 1000 win. (Getty)

Holdsworth finished 3rd astatine Mount Panorama with Michael Caruso backmost successful 2009, the lone different clip he's finished successful the apical 5 of the Great Race.

And helium concedes that had helium yet hung up the helmet without winning Bathurst, his vocation wouldn't person been complete.

"No, decidedly not. Definitely not," helium said.

"That would person been an bare spot connected the resume, for sure. Everyone sets retired to triumph Bathurst, whenever they commencement racing. That's the 1 you privation to win, and sometimes I deliberation it means much than the championship.

"I'm astir apt a spot biased now, possibly Glenn Seton is the idiosyncratic to ask, I cognize it hurts him that helium ne'er won Bathurst, it's decidedly a bucket database happening for the drivers.

Lee Holdsworth and Chaz Mostert observe their Bathurst 1000 win. (Getty)

"It's our Indy500, our Monaco Grand Prix, our Le Mans, it's a marquee event."

Despite having the fastest car this year, Holdsworth admits that truthful overmuch tin spell incorrect and derail a Bathurst campaign. But helium laughs erstwhile asked if this year's triumph makes up for 17 years of heartbreak astatine the mountain.

"Yeah, it does! If I'd known this was coming I wouldn't person stressed truthful overmuch astir the different races," helium said.

"Every clip you spell determination you cognize everyone has a shot, you ne'er cognize wherever you basal exactly, but I knew this twelvemonth it was the twelvemonth I had a genuine chance. Chaz was accelerated determination astatine the commencement of the twelvemonth and I'd conscionable travel retired of full-time racing, truthful I knew it was the champion accidental I'd had.

"But adjacent past you request truthful overmuch to spell your way, there's truthful galore things that tin spell wrong. The full day, I was conscionable waiting for thing to spell wrong, waiting for the disappointment, and it ne'er came."

Chaz Mostert and Lee Holdsworth dominated the full week astatine Mount Panorama. (Getty)

The lone existent scare for Mostert and Holdsworth came astir a 3rd of the mode done the race, erstwhile a left-rear tyre fto go, forcing Mostert to limp backmost to the pits.

It meant an unscheduled halt and enactment the brace retired of sync with the remainder of the field, but Holdsworth says the concern wasn't excessively concerning.

"I knew we had the velocity to get back," helium explained.

"We mislaid the 14 2nd pb that we had, but by the clip we pitted we were efficaciously inactive successful second, and we were 1 halt up connected everyone. We were inactive successful a bully position, but it was the interest that it was going to hap again.

"The interest was the origin of the blowout, and what could we bash to marque definite it didn't hap again. Was it tyre pressures? Camber? Too overmuch kerb? Too overmuch wheelspin? So galore questions."

Chaz Mostert and Lee Holdsworth with the Peter Brock Trophy. (Getty)

The Walkinshaw Andretti United brace were 1 of the strongest combinations astatine Bathurst, with Holdsworth having been a full-time operator until the extremity of the 2020 season.

He says the days are agelong gone erstwhile the 2nd operator was simply seen arsenic a harmless brace of hands portion the main operator has a break.

"You've truly got to person 2 drivers present who are precise akin speed, due to the fact that it's a sprint race, it's not conscionable astir being determination astatine the extremity anymore," helium said.

"The bully happening with Chaz and I, I was capable to enactment successful the car a spot longer than a batch of the co-drivers, which meant Chaz was fresher astatine the extremity of the race.

"He lone did a treble stint astatine the end, whereas I deliberation astir apt galore of the others were successful the car for the past 3 stints. There's truthful galore advantages to it, and it opens up your strategy arsenic well. I was capable to beryllium retired determination with the main drivers and clasp them off.

"It changes everything, and it changes the operator marketplace a lot. You've had guys similar Will Davison, Garth Tander and myself, Craig Lowndes, there's truthful galore bully co-drivers who could decidedly inactive beryllium determination arsenic a main driver.

"The days of being wrong a 2nd of the main operator are agelong gone."

Holdsworth described the WAU Commodore arsenic the champion contention car he'd ever driven, noting that helium and Mostert didn't request to overdrive the car to execute a bully thigh time. Having yet breached done for the win, helium said determination was really small clip to observe successful the contiguous aftermath.

"We were astir apt excessively caught up successful each the media worldly to beryllium honest," helium explained.

"For the 2 hours aft the contention determination was that overmuch media going on, I don't deliberation Chaz and I had a brew until astir 10pm. We made up for it though!

Chaz Mostert and Lee Holdsworth the greeting aft their Bathurst 1000 win. (Today)

"Of people you privation to observe with the team, due to the fact that they played arsenic large a relation arsenic Chaz and I. Everyone has to bash their job, if 1 idiosyncratic doesn't bash it the effect is retired the door.

"But determination hasn't been immoderate clip to unbend and bespeak connected it, but present I'm connected holidays I tin footwear backmost and unbend and instrumentality it successful implicit Christmas."

Holdsworth's full-time vocation successful the Supercars title came to a abrupt extremity successful 2020, but he'll beryllium backmost connected the grid successful 2022, having signed with Grove Racing to spouse David Reynolds.

That means helium won't support his rubric with Mostert adjacent year, though helium admits giving up a plum endurance co-driving relation would person been harder had they not won this year.

"Absolutely, 100 per cent," helium said.

"I conscionable consciousness successful a mode present that winning Bathurst has been ticked disconnected the list. Of course, I'd emotion to bash it again. But present that I've won determination it's disconnected the bucket list.

"If we'd travel 2nd this twelvemonth past it would person been precise hard to crook down different co-drive with Chaz and WAU.

"One of the questions I had to inquire myself was, was I blessed being a co-driver for the adjacent 5 years, oregon bash I privation to spell backmost and decorativeness arsenic a full-time operator connected my ain terms? The full-time vocation came to an abrupt extremity successful 2020, and it came arsenic a monolithic shock.

"I conscionable consciousness that it's an accidental and situation I can't fto pass. I inactive consciousness similar I've got much to offer, and I'd similar to assistance Grove Racing make arsenic a squad and permission them successful a presumption wherever they're person to the pointy extremity of the field.

Lee Holdsworth volition thrust for Grove Racing successful 2022. (Grove Racing)

"Chaz and I would decidedly person gone backmost arsenic 1 of favourites adjacent year, it was specified a superb car, but WAU were bully capable to merchandise me."

Holdsworth is realistic capable to cognize he's not apt to beryllium battling for the title adjacent season, but is hopeful the squad tin determination guardant arsenic the play progresses.

"I deliberation from the team's constituent of view, Grove is aiming for top-10 successful the championship," helium explained.

"Obviously arsenic a driver, that's not wherever you purpose for, you purpose for contention wins, but you person to beryllium realistic.

"The squad is successful a gathering and improvement phase, and it's hard until I've driven the car to cognize wherever the squad is astatine and what imaginable is there.

"I'll surely beryllium trying for wins and podiums, but archetypal and foremost we person to beryllium successful the top-10."

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