Special milestone for Holdsworth at Sandown


Lee Holdsworth

Lee Holdsworth will make his 500th race start at Sandown International Motor Raceway next week.

The Penrite Racing driver will reach the milestone in Race 24 at the Penrite Oil Sandown SuperSprint.

The 39-year-old, who made his Supercars Championship debut at Sandown in 2004, will become the 11th driver in Australian Touring Car Championship/Supercars history to hit the mark.

Reaching the milestone will be a special moment for Holdsworth.

“I never probably imagined I’d get to this amount of races,” he said.

“500’s a hell of a lot, I certainly can’t remember all of them.

“I’ve had some success, I’ve had a lot of lows, but I’m very proud to still be in the sport after so long.

“I hold a lot of great memories, I just hope there’s more to add.”

The Victorian is looking forward to racing again at the historic venue where he’s previously enjoyed success.

“I love Sandown, for me it’s a cool track,” he remarked.

“I’ve had some success there; last time I raced there, I was on the podium for the Sandown 500, so it’s good to be coming back also for my 500th race.

“I’m going to have a lot of support there with family and being a local track.”

It has been a rollercoaster of a journey for Holdsworth on the road to 500 race starts.

He secured his first full-time drive with Garry Rogers Motorsport (GRM) in 2006, achieving his first round win at Oran Park in 2007.

After a six-year union with GRM, he joined Stone Brothers Racing in 2012, a year prior to the team being bought by Erebus Motorsport.

In 2014, he drove the team’s Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG to a historic first race win at Winton Motor Raceway.

A year later he moved to Team 18, for whom he would race for until the end of 2018.

His career was given a new lease of life when he signed a deal with Tickford Racing in 2019, the same year he finished on the Sandown 500 podium with Thomas Randle.

At the end of 2020 he found himself out of the Campbellfield-based team.

He responded triumphantly, winning last year’s Bathurst 1000 with Walkinshaw Andretti United alongside Chaz Mostert, to score a full-time seat with Grove Racing for 2022.

Early success came for the new partnership as the #10 Ford Mustang driver stood on the podium at Albert Park in Race 7.

Heading into Round 9, Holdsworth is 13th in the standings on 1084 points.

The Sandown SuperSprint will take place from August 19-21.

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