Holdsworth: This is my best chance to win Bathurst 1000
Wednesday 19th May, 2021 - 6:00am
Lee Holdsworth has declared the 2021 Repco Bathurst 1000 is his best shot at Great Race glory yet.
The popular 38-year-old looked in good shape last year when he claimed provisional pole for the 2020 edition.
He and co-driver Michael Caruso would ultimately bring their Truck Assist Mustang home in seventh place, and shortly after murmurs surfaced that Holdsworth would find himself on the outer at Tickford Racing.
That indeed proved to be the case; a situation Holdsworth responded to by securing a plum co-drive alongside Chaz Mostert at Walkinshaw Andretti United, and signing a deal to contest the full 2021 Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series with Ashley Seward Motorsport.
Following his latest steer of Mostert’s #25 ZB Commodore at a Winton mid-season test yesterday, Holdsworth is feeling good about his chances come October 7-10.
“It is 100 percent my best shot,” he told Speedcafe.com.
“I’m with one of the best drivers in the field, I’m with one of the best teams in the field, and I think I’m in a really good position to help the team out and try to fight for the win at the biggest race of the year.
“I’ve got some familiar faces around, I remember a fair few of the guys from when I was there back in 2015, plus working really closely with Chaz and Adam [De Borre, engineer], I know both of them really well and get on with them, they’re both mates of mine.
“So I’m enjoying the dynamic there and enjoying the momentum that they have got going at the moment as well.
“You can really feel there’s a great team vibe and you can feel it’s really building into something pretty special I think.”
Holdsworth has one podium from 17 prior starts in the Bathurst 1000, taking third place with Caruso in 2009 for Garry Rogers Motorsport.
Mostert has been a consistent contender for silverware this season – he’s yet to qualify outside the top 10, and his only race results worse than sixth were due to a broken throttle cable at Sandown, and a multi-car Lap 1 melee at The Bend.
Holdsworth admitted it was “a weird feeling” to be barracking for another Supercars driver, himself having been a full-timer for 15 years, and noted his prior time as team-mates with Mostert at Tickford was coming in handy.
“I think the advantage I’ve got of being with Chaz is, when I was at my team last year, Chaz had a fair bit to do with the way that those cars were developed over the time he was there,” he said.
“He has a particular driving style and I guess I had to adapt to that over the past couple of years, so coming into this team, the car doesn’t feel foreign to me, which is nice.
“It actually feels like something I’m comfortable in straightaway.
“Generally when you change teams, you have got to change your driving style and I certainly don’t feel that I’ve had to do too much of that.”
Holdsworth also believes his TCR exploits will be of service to his Mount Panorama campaign.
“You know, it’s funny, because they are completely opposite cars to drive… but there’s no doubt that it’s helping my driving style in a Supercar,” he said.
“It’s strange that it is but it certainly is.
“That’s the advantage of driving so many different cars for Shane [van Gisbergen] and Chaz, if you can pick up different strengths in different cars, you can play that to your advantage when you jump back in a Supercar or any race car.
“So yeah, there’s definitely something in that for sure.”
Mostert is third in the drivers’ championship ahead of the Winton SuperSprint on May 29-30.