IRWIN Racing press release
Holdsworth Impresses With Fifth Place In V8 Opener
Lee Holdsworth has shown that he will be a driver to watch this season, after finishing the opening race of the V8 Supercars season in an impressive fifth place.
Today was not only the first race of the season, but the first race for Holdsworth with new team IRWIN Racing.
Holdsworth, starting from 15th, made an immediate impact on the race, quickly moving through traffic to race inside the top 10.
Avoiding every on-track incident and driving smartly, Holdsworth was able to pass easily and was looking good early for a top five race finish.
With the second and final safety car coming out on lap 49, Holdsworth stopped for fuel. Hoping to get through to the end of the race, the IRWIN Tools Ford was forced to pit for a splash and dash, like most of the grid, to get through to the end.
Happy with his ‘Jet’ and thrilled with his higher than expected finishing place, Holdsworth is looking forward to bigger and better things tomorrow – and perhaps the podium.
The second race of the season, and the final leg of the Clipsal 500, starts at 2.35pm (Adelaide time) tomorrow.
What IRWIN Racing’s Lee Holdsworth had to say:
“I think before I came here my goal was a top five, after practice and qualifying I thought I better re-assess this to a top 10, so it was an absolute bonus to get a top five. The IRWIN Ford was an absolute jet, every time I wanted to pass someone I could. It was a shame that we ran out of fuel at the end but everyone else had the same problem. But what an awesome way to start with this team! At the start of the race I was just trying to get a feel for (the car) and I didn’t want to push too hard, so I settled into a position. I started driving it a little bit differently and the speed came to me. The confidence came and was I able to start moving through the field. My plan was to keep out of trouble, get familiar with the car, and then build on that tomorrow. I think we'll have a pretty strong car tomorrow in qualifying and then we know it’s a good race car, so anything could happen.”
What IRWIN Racing’s engineer Brad Wischusen had to say:
“That was excellent. We made a lot of changes to the IRWIN Ford over night and I think had we had qualifying this morning we would have been a lot higher up the grid to start with. It was an excellent job from the team and Lee did a great job, he's a lot more suited to the car and the boys did a great pit stop. It was touch and go with fuel levels in the last quarter of the race, but to be honest we probably weren’t ever going to make it. We tried to hold out for a safety car but there wasn’t one, so we had to do a splash and dash and still came away with a very good result. It's been a great day and a great start to the season.”