V8'S HOTTEST YOUNGSTER SET FOR WPS BATHURST 12 HOUR START

February 2008 will see V8 star Lee Holdsworth swap his V8 Supercar-spec Garry Rogers Motorsport Holden for a production Commodore as he takes part in the 2008 WPS Bathurst 12 hour aboard the Briffa Smash Repairs entry.

Since enjoying his breakthrough race and round win at Oran Park with the GRM outfit earlier this year in only his second full season in the series, the 24 year old has been flexing his V8 muscles with some strong results in the run to the Phillip Island final round last weekend, at which he secured 15th in the championship with a top ten finale round result.

Now with his 2007 V8 Supercar series run and done, it is no surprise that the Melbourne resident is keen at the thought of getting back to the hallowed bitumen of Bathurst ahead of the start of the 2008 season.

"I am really happy to be able to compete in the WPS Bathurst 12 hour - it is a really great concept and should be a whole lot of fun," said Holdsworth.

"Of course being at Bathurst I am excited to be involved as everyone loves an opportunity to spend some time around Mount Panorama, but it is also great as it brings out a whole new range of spectators with fans of every marque able to get in on the action.

"I am also looking forward to us being competitive - the Steve Briffa Holden Commodore SS Z has been right up there in the Production Car Series so I will be looking to do the best I can with the guys and see if we can aim for a win."

Pushing him even harder to rack up some impressive kilometres will be his older brother Brett, with whom he will be sharing the driving duties along with car owner Steve Briffa.

"I have raced against my brother for years, since we were seven having a go in go-karts," said Holdsworth.

"The last time I ran against him was in 2003 in Commodore Cup, but I have never shared a car with him before so this will be a new experience and one I am really looking forward to.

"It has always been our dream to run together at Bathurst, and the WPS Bathurst 12 Hour has given us that chance, so you could say we are both really eager to get to it in February."

Not only will Lee's brother Brett be there pushing him along, stretching the family aspirations even further will be the Holdsworth boys' father Glenn as Team Manager of the Briffa Smash Repairs entry.

"Having dad there as team manager is going to be great, he has always been there looking after our racing since the beginning at the go-kart track, and also in Commodore Cup, so it will be perfect to have him there at Bathurst and he is pretty excited at the thought of seeing his boys sharing a car at Mount Panorama!" said Holdsworth.

While it may be shaping up to be a Holdsworth affair at the WPS Bathurst 12 Hour, car owner and 2007 CAMS Motorsport Personality of the Year Nominee Steve Briffa says he couldn't be happier to have the boys on board for his assault on the event he competed in aboard the Alan Shepherd entry in 2007.

Since that effort Briffa has been running his Holden Commodore SS Z with great success in the Australian Production Car Championship, claiming third in the championship at the final round run at the weekend, only two points shy of second placed Barry Morcom.

"We were knocking on the door of second for the (Australian Production Car) championship, and to be running up there with drivers such as 2007 WPS Bathurst 12 Hour winner Garry Holt and his BMW lets me think we will have a great chance of getting in there in February," said Briffa.

"The WPS Bathurst 12 Hour is a great event and I really enjoyed being involved last year, and now with my car performing so well and with Lee and also Brett - who I have competed against in Commodore Cup in the past - sharing the drivers seat with me I am really excited at the prospect of having my own entry in amongst it.

"I am looking forward to giving the guys curry with what I think is going to be a winning combination come February!"

The Briffa Smash Repairs entry, also sponsored by Paul Wakeling Holden and AMTR, will certainly be one to watch in the class for Production Cars under $50,000 and over 5 litres in capacity, with Holdsworth sure to be on fire as he ramps up for the new season.

The 2008 WPS Bathurst Motor Festival will be held at Mount Panorama on February 8-10, incorporating the WPS Bathurst 12 Hour on Sunday February 10.

-credit: bathurstmotorfestival.com.au