Holdsworth: ‘Last thing’ I’m thinking about is next year

Lee Holdsworth

Lee Holdsworth says he is so focussed on the now that the last thing he is thinking about is losing his Supercars drive with Penrite Racing next year.

At least one of the current drivers under the Grove Racing banner looks set to be replaced for the 2023 season by young gun Matthew Payne.

Both Holdsworth and Reynolds are off-contract at the end of this season.

Nineteen-year-old Payne, who is second in the Dunlop Super2 Series, has been labelled by team owner Stephen Grove as a ‘definite’ for one of the squad’s main game seats.

It couldn’t be more untimely for Holdsworth, who languished down the back of the field at the NTI Townsville 500 with both he and team-mate Reynolds off the pace.

“Clearly after a weekend like that I wouldn’t even contemplate going to talk to anyone,” Holdsworth told Speedcafe.com.

“Because a performance like that…we need to make the car quicker.

“There’s probably bits and pieces I can do better; we need to get the car in the right window for me and Dave as well.

“That’s the last thing I’m thinking about at the moment is 2023.”

Holdsworth signed with the Groves for this season after his 2021 Repco Bathurst 1000 win as co-driver for Chaz Mostert thrust him back into the limelight.

The 39-year-old was energised by the opportunity to bow out on his own terms, after losing his previous full-time drive at Tickford Racing prior to the 2021 season.

While he does have a podium to his name this season, and has largely had the pace to match Reynolds, the lifespan of either driver’s tenure at the team could be limited.

Stepping aside from the contract talks, Holdsworth said he is focused on regenerating the momentum that existed up until Townsville.

A combination of factors is hoped to play into the team’s hands at The Bend Motorsport Park.

“It’s still a great feeling within the team, obviously it was great having that momentum, which we’ve lost the last couple of rounds,” added Holdsworth.

“But I think the heat for some reason…the hotter rounds haven’t played to our strengths.

“Heading back to Tailem Bend, grippy track, cooler environment, I think we’ll be aiming for a lot higher than we saw [in Townsville].”

Holdsworth sits 13th in the drivers’ championship, while Reynolds is seventh.

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