Lee Holdsworth has extended his driving contract with Garry Rogers Motorsport for an extra season.
The new deal will see Holdsworth remain at the Victorian-based V8 Supercar team until the end of the 2011 V8 Championship Series.
It’s a new era for GRM, with new backing from Fujitsu General, plus the addition of experienced engineer Richard Hollway coming on board as the team’s technical director and Holdsworth’s race day engineer.
Holdsworth told Speedcafe.com.au that the extra commercial and technical strength of the team was his main motivation to re-sign.
“It’s nice to have know where I’m at for the next couple of years,” he said.
“I can now really focus on the racing and focus on winning the championship with GRM for the next couple of years. I think with the inclusion of Richard Hollway, it’s been a huge for my motivation and for the team’s motivation.
“With the Fujitsu support that’s come on board, we’re doing something with the extra financial addition, and we’re going to make GRM one of the front-running teams.”
Holdworth said that his decision to stay with GRM was a mutual agreement between himself and team-owner Rogers.
“It was a mutual decision. Both Garry and I wanted to come to an agreement and we’ve had a really good relationship over the time that I’ve been there,” he said.
“With the new things we’ve got in place there, we can both see potential in the team and he can see the potential in myself, with the aim of winning the championship.”
Holdsworth has been with the GRM team full-time since 2006 and originally signed a long-term five year deal with them. In that time, he has scored one round win at Oran Park in 2007, plus a pole position at Townsville last year. He finished 10th in last year’s title.
Even though he is well established in the class and the team, it may still be a two-year process to be in contention for the championship outright.
“I think we’ve got to take it one step at a time. At the moment, we’re probably going to be enter 2010 with a realistic goal of top five, or top three is everything goes well,” he said.
“We don’t want to set our goals too high because you don’t want to set yourself up for disappointment.
“Considering the changes in the team, I think we should have a two-year plan and next year I’d really like to have a good crack at winning the championship.
“Of course, we’d love to win the title, but we are realistic. We’re absolutely out to win races at the moment. That’s the goal.”
The re-signing of Holdsworth to the Fujitsu-support team means that Holdsworth is off the driver market for another year. Mid-last year, Holdsworth was hot property, but he is comfortably with his new deal.
“I thought a lot about it. What I wanted to be comfortable in my surroundings, and I’m comfortable at GRM,” he said.
“I think that the team is probably in its best position ever. With Fujitsu coming on board, we’re more financially secure, and with Richard, we’ve got one of the best teams in the competition at the moment. I thought “Why would I want to be anywhere else?” I’m in familiar surrounds, I know how the team works, and I know I can get results. I figure that it will only get better.”