Holdsworth pins 2011 title hopes on solid test

Speedcafe.com

Thursday 27th January, 2011 - 2:00am

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Lee Holdsworth won the final race of the 2010 V8 season at Homebush

Lee Holdsworth won the final race of the 2010 V8 season at Homebush

Garry Rogers Motorsport’s driver Lee Holdsworth says that this Saturday’s official V8 Supercars test at Eastern Creek will be critical for his team’s 2011 V8 campaign.

Traditionally, the GRM-prepared Fujitsu Racing Commodores are very strong on street style circuits – the last time the V8 Supercars competed in anger (at the Sydney Telstra 500), Holdsworth won, case in point.

But the GRM cars have a weakness on long, flowing circuits, something that Eastern Creek has in spades.

Holdsworth says that this Saturday’s season launch and test will be the perfect playground for GRM to get its heads around their weaknesses in an attempt to become a genuine championship threat.

“It’s a great opportunity for our team,” Holdsworth told Speedcafe.com.au.

“We only ever test at Winton, so to be able to test at another track is very good. The best thing about it is that Eastern Creek has long, fast flowing corners – a style of circuit that we generally struggle on.

“Out of all the tracks that we race on, long flowing corners don’t suit our cars, so it will be brilliant to be able to test at Eastern Creek. We’ll be changing our car set-ups dramatically over the day and hopefully be able to get on top of a few things.

“And I think it will be great to have the whole field there. You’ll have an idea of the pace that people have found over the off season.”

While there’s no championship points on offer at Eastern Creek this year, Holdsworth says that they can still find gains for other circuits. He picks out Phillip Island as the track that they can benefit most for.

“The track that Eastern Creek is most similar to is Phillip Island,” he said.

“The speeds of the corners, the shape of the corners, the hairpins are very long, medium speed hairpins. It relates closest to that.

“Of the other tracks, you’d probably think that we’ll get some good information for Albert Park, Queensland Raceway and Darwin. There’s a few tracks that Eastern Creek relates to and I think this weekend’s test is going to help our results during the year.

“We don’t seem to have a problem on street-style circuits, but long flowing corners don’t really suit our cars.

“It’s the perfect opportunity for our team to try some new things. At race meetings you don’t go from one end of the spectrum to the other. We’ll be throwing everything at it.”

The test will be held at Eastern Creek this Saturday from 9am to 5pm. Entry is free, with a grid walk at 12.30pm for fans to get up close and personal with the new liveries and driver combinations for the 2011 V8 Supercars Championship.

And speaking of new liveries, Pepsi Max will unveil its entry into V8 Supercars today in Sydney at 9.30am. Stay tuned to Speecafe.com.au for the first pictures of the car …

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