Holdsworth conscious success won’t come straight away

Lee Holdsworth at Winton Motor Raceway. Picture: Ross Gibb

Penrite Racing recruit Lee Holdsworth is being realistic about his chances upon returning to the Repco Supercars Championship grid this year.

Following a year on the sidelines, the veteran of 15 seasons is back after winning the Bathurst 1000 last December with Walkinshaw Andretti United.

The Braeside-based team, which this year enters its first season solely under the stewardship of the Grove family, finds itself towards the tail of pit lane.

Although a consistent mid-pack runner, the team did have some success in 2021 with David Reynolds and recent departee Andre Heimgartner.

Heimgartner brought the team its only win at The Bend while Reynolds was a podium finisher at Sandown.

Speaking with Speedcafe.com, Holdsworth said he’s optimistic good things will come.

“The team was mid-field last year, had some good results,” said Holdsworth.

“You probably can’t expect it straight away that we’ll be coming out winning races and podiums even, but we certainly aim to get there.

“That’s the goal for the Groves. It’s always the goal for the drivers. So, it’s really all about how fast this team can get there. I just hope it happens sooner rather than later. It’d be great to see.”

Holdsworth had his first chance to get a taste of his #10 Ford Mustang at the Winton Motor Raceway pre-season test last week.

He admitted to being not overly happy with the feel of his car, at least initially, but conceded hot conditions made life difficult.

“Certainly, when I first jumped in I wasn’t too pleased with the balance,” he explained.

“Whether that’s track dependent or not, I don’t know. We did tune it up through the day. It felt like more my car at the end of the day.

“It was driving a certain way and the guys tuned it up for me. I think we got some stuff out of the day, it was a very hot day, the track temp was through the roof and took away a lot of grip.

“I think everyone would have struggled a bit with balance. It was hard to take too much away, and as we know, SMP is a completely different kettle of fish.

“The main thing for me was getting comfortable in the car. Get up to speed, get to know everyone, start working with my engineer, whose name is Will Davidson.

“It was all good. I’m feeling really positive about it all.”

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