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Holdsworth calls for control upright in Supercars

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Holdsworth calls for control upright in Supercars
By:
May 24, 2017, 3:07 AM

Lee Holdsworth says a control front upright is the key to helping smaller Supercars teams take on the likes of DJR Team Penske, Triple Eight, and Prodrive Racing Australia.

Lee Holdsworth, Team 18 Holden
Lee Holdsworth, Team 18 Holden
Lee Holdsworth, Team 18 Holden
Lee Holdsworth, Team 18 Holden
Lee Holdsworth, Team 18 Holden
Lee Holdsworth, Team 18 Holden
Lee Holdsworth, Team 18 Holden
Lee Holdsworth, Team 18 Holden
Nick Percat, Brad Jones Racing Holden, Lee Holdsworth, Team 18 Holden crash
Lee Holdsworth, Team 18 Holden
Lee Holdsworth, Team 18 Holden

Spots at the back end of the Top 10 are at a premium this season, with DJRTP, Triple Eight, and PRA all fielding at least two cars capable of running right at the front.

Signs of improved form from PRA’s young gun Cam Waters has added to the frantic battle for the 10, while Craig Lowndes – in proper Triple Eight equipment – has twice turned disappointing qualifying performances into Top 10 results across the last two rounds.

Holdsworth, who drives for the single-car Team 18 squad, took his second Top 10 result of the season with a 10th at Winton on Sunday – and he reckons breaking into the top third of the field is like a podium this year.

“We know if we break into the Top 10, it’s like what used to be a podium,” he told Motorsport.com.

“It’s very difficult to beat those top three teams; we’ve got an in-joke with a few of the other drivers that there’s the A Grade teams and the B Grade teams. On Sunday I probably finished on the podium for the B Graders.”

Holdsworth and the single-car Team 18 outfit currently runs customer Triple Eight hardware with what he describes as 2013-spec front suspension technology. That, he says, makes all the difference, and that something like a control front upright would help the smaller teams bridge the gap to the super teams.

“To penetrate into their speed, we need some more development in the car,” he said. “Penske has an unlimited budget, and they’re throwing something new into the car at each round. I don’t know how anyone is going to keep up, to be honest.

“It would be fantastic to see a front end upright locked in for the category. I think there’s too much money being spent in the category at the moment, and it’s hurting the little teams.

“The big teams with all the money are getting further and further away.”

Own direction helping speed

Off the back of a promising weekend at Winton, Holdsworth finishing the two races 11th and 10th, he says a decision to move away from the Triple Eight set-up book for this season is paying dividends.

“We’ve run the same gear for a year and a half, ever since we got the car. For what we have I think we’re doing a really good job,” he said.

“We’re learning more and more about the car, we’ve gone our own direction this year which is great for us. We’ve got no distractions, and we’re going the direction I want with the car, which is helping our consistency.

“Obviously consistency has been our biggest downside, and pitstops have also been a drama for the last year and a half. But things are moving forward and progressing.

“I suppose being such a new team it was never going to come together in the first year, and now it seems to be coming together.

“Gaining consistency is our focus, and we’ve shown glimpses of speed. Now we’re starting to be around that seventh to 14th mark each weekend.

“We still need a little bit of speed, but the guys are doing a brilliant job. Things are starting to mesh.”

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About this article

Series Supercars
Drivers Lee Holdsworth
Teams Team 18
Author Andrew van Leeuwen