Holdsworth blasts Stanaway as ‘imbecile’ after Race 5 incidents

Lee Holdsworth

Lee Holdsworth labelled Richie Stanaway an ‘absolute imbecile’ and physically confronted the Kiwi after they hit multiple times during Race 5 of the Supercars Championship at the Beaurepaires Melbourne 400.

While new Tickford Racing driver Holdsworth was ropeable with the ex-Tickford man shortly after the race, Stanaway brushed off the on- and off-track incidents.

Holdsworth was aggrieved by two hits in quick succession which he claimed to have copped from the #33 Boost Mobile ZB Commodore early in the race, which saw him drop several positions.

Stanaway, however, claimed that he incurred significant steering damage when he got a whack from Holdsworth’s Bottle-O Mustang even earlier in the race.

The incidents came after Stanaway was penalised for an act of careless driving which saw him make contact with Holdsworth in Race 4, earlier in the day.

“Richie’s done it again,” fumed Holdsworth, in a television interview shortly after the pair reportedly traded expletives in the pits, post-race.

“I don’t know whether he’s getting back at me or the team, but obviously he’s just an imbecile, absolute imbecile. He tries to drive me into the fence every time he gets to me.

“I like a bit of fair racing and a bit of rubbing and touching; it’s just ridiculous.

“The guy’s going to freaking hurt someone. He’s got rocks in his head.”

While the on-track skirmishes were not captured on camera, it is believed that the clashes which Holdsworth reported occurred on Lap 3 of the bizarre 25-lap affair around Albert Park.

“I got him through (Turn) 3, came out of 3 and he belted me; just obviously rolled off the brake to get me,” he recounted.

“Same into (Turn) 5 and it’s a quick corner and nearly put me in the wall there again.

“It screwed me, I lost four or five places or more; we dropped back to P20.

“The boys did a really good job to get me back to P12; we had a pretty good car.

“Congrats to Chaz, the Tickford team for the result. Those guys are doing really well.

“When you’re mixing it up with guys like that (Stanaway), it’s hard to move forward.”

Stanaway was largely unperturbed by the events despite confirming that he received a shove from Holdsworth when he spoke to Speedcafe.com.

“Yeah,” he confirmed when asked if there was a shove.

“It doesn’t bother me, some people get pretty heated, I guess, in the moment so I guess some people have better control over their emotions than others.

“I can be equally frustrated because when you get bent steering from contact on the first lap, basically your pace is severely compromised for the rest of the race. I’m obviously frustrated too.

“Maybe if we’re fighting for the win, I’d carry on like that but obviously we weren’t.”

He claimed to have already copped damage from a big lunge from Holdsworth on the first lap, at one of the open right-handers near the back end of the circuit.

“I wasn’t really expecting that sort of carry on. He’s obviously very frustrated (but) I’m frustrated too because he ruined my race on the first lap by dive-bombing me from five car lengths back and smacking me off the track at Turn 13,” said Stanaway.

“My steering was bent, 30 degrees of lock going down the straight after he sort of hit me at Turn 13 on the first lap.

“He’s ruined my race on the first lap but you don’t see me going down to him and carrying on like that because it’s just racing.”

Stanaway denied that he was fault and confirmed he would offer no apology, describing the sequence of events as, “One of those typical driver situations where you both think it’s the other person’s fault.

“I won’t lose any sleep over it.

“Nah (there will be no apology), he’s obviously just taking out his frustrations somewhere.”

Stanaway, who pitted again from 16th position under the single Safety Car period of the race, could only get back to 17th despite the gamble on fresher tyres.

There’s was not the only major incident of the race, with would-be front row starters Scott McLaughlin and Cameron Waters out of contention before it had even begun after a collision on their way to the starting grid.

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