All 25 V8 Supercars will carry signs of support for the Paris attack victims at this weekend’s WD-40 Phillip Island Super Sprint.
Lee Holdsworth’s Walkinshaw Holden sports the French colours across its roof, while all cars will run a sticker supplied by the category depicting the country’s flag and iconic Eiffel Tower.
A series of co-ordinated terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday killed 129 people, marking the deadliest violence to hit France since World War II.
Holdsworth’s team has a particular link to France, having run French IndyCar ace Sebastien Bourdais across the recent three-event Pirtek Enduro Cup.
Bourdais was one of two French co-drivers in the enduros, with former V8 Supercars full-timer Alex Premat joining Scott McLaughlin at Volvo.
“It’s on everyone’s minds at the moment, not just the people of Paris, but for all the people in Beirut and all the others that have fallen victim to terrorist attacks,” Holdsworth told Speedcafe.com.
“It’s nice to be able to run a mark of respect and let everyone know that we’re all thinking of them.”
“It’s a little thing we can do as a V8 Supercars fraternity,” added McLaughlin.
“It’s a proud thing to represent something, show that we’re all a part of it and supporting them where we can.”
Holdsworth and McLaughlin both have high hopes for their weekends at Phillip Island after the Walkinshaw and Garry Rogers teams proved among the pace-setters at the venue last year.
McLaughlin passed Holdsworth’s now team-mate Garth Tander for the win in the final metres of the Sunday contest 12 months ago as the Holden ran dry on fuel.
The Volvo driver has not won a race since and is eager to end the dry spell.
”We won two races here last year and I really think we can do it again,” he said.
“We have had a few poles this year and now we need to capitalise on making a good start and winning the race.
“It is important to build on for next year and I think this is where we can start that.”
McLaughlin’s most recent pole position came last time out at Pukekohe, a venue where the Walkinshaw Holdens struggled.
The bumpy New Zealand circuit is a stark contrast from the smooth Island Grand Prix layout, however, leaving Holdsworth optimistic.
“Our cars weren’t good at Puke, certainly the bumps were very challenging for us,” explained Holdsworth.
“Here that won’t be such an issue and it’s certainly encouraging seeing how strong the cars were here last year.
“I think there’s some things we’ve done to the cars this year that we’ve taken a backwards step, but we’ve probably pressed the reset button a little bit.
“We’ve now got a pretty good thing with car balance, but the shocks are where we need to hone in on.”