IRWIN Racing’s Lee Holdsworth heads to the opening event of the 2012 V8 Supercars championship full of confidence and believes he has the potential to win at this weekend’s Clipsal 500.
Much has been said about Holdsworth’s ability to mimic Jamie Whincup and win on debut with a new team (Whincup won the Clipsal 500 on debut for Team Vodafone in 2006), which would be tough, but something that the new IRWIN Racing recruit thinks could be possible.
“Can I win, I don’t want to put the motzer on myself, but it’s a possibility,” Lee Holdsworth said.
“The opportunity will be there to get a good result. I’ve done well at Clipsal over the years and expect to again be up there fighting with the front runners.
“I am feeling confident at the moment; I believe I have a shot at the podium.”
Having enjoyed two seconds and a third place at Clipsal between 2008 and 2010, and qualified on the second row of the grid in both races last year, Holdsworth’s goal is made more challenging thanks to his move from the Garry Rogers Holden to the IRWIN Racing Ford Falcon in January.
This weekend will be the first time that Holdsworth has raced a Ford in a V8 Supercars event and comes off the back of the first test of the season where he surprised everyone finishing the day with the third fastest time.
“So many things need to be right to win; I'm in a new car, with a new team and have a lot to get my head around,” said Holdsworth.
“This weekend is the first time that I’ve travelled with the team and gone through the practice and race day procedure with the engineers. I think everything will work out well, but it’s still something that you have to get accustomed too.
“The Sandown test day was really great, I left feeling very confident in myself and with the IRWIN Ford. I’ve also had a second test day and I am going to Adelaide feeling really good about my chances.”
Holdsworth believes the IRWIN Tools Ford Falcon will be very competitive at the Clipsal 500.
“All the pointers from the test days say that the IRWIN Ford will be quick at Clipsal,” said Holdsworth.
“Sandown Raceway, with its curves, was a big help in setting the car up for the Adelaide street circuit. The fact that we were quick there suggests that we will be quick in Adelaide, which is one of the reasons why I am feeling so confident.
“We also found a good brake and set-up package at the most recent test day at Queensland Raceway and feel we found a good balance.
“I think our preparation has been perfect, I can’t wait to hit the track on Friday.”
The Clipsal 500 commences on Thursday with the V8 Supercars hitting the track for the first time on Friday at 9.05am (Adelaide time).
On Friday there are four practice sessions followed by qualifying and the top 10 Shootout. Two 78-lap, 250kilometre races, one on Saturday and one of Sunday make up the Clipsal 500.