WAU confirms Holdsworth and Coulthard for 2023 Supercars enduros

WAU has confirmed the return of Lee Holdsworth (centre) as co-driver for Chaz Mostert (right), who are pictured with team co-owner Ryan Walkinshaw, for the 2023 Bathurst 1000

WAU has confirmed the return of Lee Holdsworth (centre) as co-driver for Chaz Mostert (right), who are pictured with team co-owner Ryan Walkinshaw, for the 2023 Bathurst 1000

Walkinshaw Andretti United has confirmed its 2023 Supercars enduro line-up, including the return of 2021 Great Race winner Lee Holdsworth.

Chaz Mostert and Holdsworth will be reunited in the #25 Mobil 1 Optus Ford Mustang while Fabian Coulthard moves across to the #2 Mobil 1 NTI entry of Nick Percat for this year’s Penrite Oil Sandown 500 and Repco Bathurst 1000.

Coulthard thus takes over the Car #2 co-driver role filled by Warren Luff for the last two years, but the latter “remain[s] as a contracted driver” for WAU alongside his Super2 Driver Development Advisor role.

Mostert and Holdsworth had delivered the Clayton-based team its first Bathurst 1000 win in a decade when they dominated at Mount Panorama in December 2021, notwithstanding a mid-race tyre failure.

The victorious duo was broken up immediately when Holdsworth landed a seat of his own at Grove Racing, but it is understood that WAU retained an option on his services as a condition of his release from what was to have been a two-year co-driving contract.

However, Coulthard made a strong case for himself when Car #25 finished second at Mount Panorama in 2022, and Luff has six Bathurst 1000 podiums to his name, including four with WAU.

With some shuffling, all three are on the team’s books again, with Luff’s “2023 driving plans to be announced in due course”, according to WAU’s announcement.

Team Principal Bruce Stewart said, “It’s fantastic to have Lee back, and Fabian on board again for 2023, to have two drivers of their calibre – and with their experience in our endurance line-up is a real asset to us. It’s an incredibly strong line-up.

Two [enduro] events mean more on-track time for both drivers, but undoubtedly, their experience behind the wheel will be really important as we all adapt to Gen3 as quickly as possible – so we are lucky to have them.

“Of course, we won’t be letting Luffy go that easily either, he’s going to have a really important role helping our Super2 drivers on and off track, but also, we’re working on what an on-track program for him in 2023 looks like.

“It’s going to be a big year on all fronts, but will be fantastic to have Fabian, Lee and Warren around the team as we tackle the year head-on.”

WAU Bathurst 1000

Fabian Coulthard

Both Holdsworth and Coulthard are set to get laps at Winton today, when Mostert and Percat shake down the squad’s very first Mustangs.

Holdsworth remarked, “It’s fantastic to back at WAU and back alongside Chaz.

“When I hung the helmet up from full-time racing at the end of last year, I wanted to put myself back in the best position possible this endurance season and that was with WAU – our last race together turned out alright.

“Having the two enduros this year is awesome, and Sandown is the perfect lead up to Bathurst so it’ll be great to be in the Mobil 1 Optus Racing Mustang.

“There will be a lot to learn for us co-drivers this year with Gen3, so adapting as quickly as possible is going to be really important, so it’s great to be involved this early in the year – the team has done an incredible job with these cars over the break.”

Coulthard said, “It’s awesome to be back with WAU for another year, and I’m looking forward to teaming up with Nick in the Mobil 1 NTI Racing Mustang.

“Having two endurance events back on the calendar is great, so the programme really starts now, putting ourselves in the best possible position for later in the year.

“The team have done a great job getting these cars ready over summer, they look incredible, so it will be great to get a few laps at the shakedown to start to understand the new rig – I think it will be really important come endurance season.”

The Winton pit exit opens again this morning at 08:30 local time/AEDT.

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