Erebus Motorsport has revealed that Lee Holdsworth will leave the team at the end of the 2014 season.
While an agreement of sorts had been reached in August to keep Holdsworth at Erebus in 2015 it appears as though the deal has fallen through after both parties failed to agree on the terms of the contract.
Holdsworth has been pursuing other options and at this stage is rumoured to replace Jack Perkins at Charlie Schwerkolt Racing.
Ryan Maddison, CEO at Erebus Motorsport was disappointed that the two parties could not come to agreement but wishes Holdsworth all the best for the future.
“Lee has been a significant part of the Erebus Motorsport team since day one and our intent was for him to remain with us for next year and beyond,’’ said Maddison.
“He won this team’s first ever V8 Supercars race earlier this year and has been a consistent performer right throughout the development phase of Erebus Motorsport over the past two years.
“However, unfortunately we haven’t been able to come to a formal agreement and it’s now reached a stage where both parties need to look at their respective further options for next year.
“It has been a difficult situation but the reality is that Lee needs to do what he feels is best for he and his family and we need to do the best thing for the long-term future and sustainability of Erebus Motorsport. Unfortunately those two things weren’t able to align on this occasion and so we have decided to go our separate ways.
“We wish Lee all the best in securing a drive with one of the other V8 Supercars teams and will now extend our own search for a replacement in the #4 car heading into 2015.
“Importantly the focus is now on Lee and the team finishing the year on a high at Phillip Island this weekend and the Sydney 500 in December, where he will celebrate his 300th V8 Supercars start.’’
Holdsworth said that choosing to leave the team was a difficult decision as he was a foundation driver when they made the switch from Stone Brothers Racing to Erebus Motorsport. He also secured the team’s first and only win at Winton earlier this year.
“My preference initially was to stay at Erebus but unfortunately we haven’t been able to finalise the contract so I’ve had to start looking at other options for next year,’’ said Holdsworth.
“Erebus has a fantastic group of people that I’ve built strong relationships with over the past three years, making it a difficult decision to leave. I’ve enjoyed my time here and will leave on good terms.”
“I’ve got an obligation to look after my future, as does Erebus from a team point of view. It’s not an ideal situation but I am happy with where my future lies in V8 Supercars and am firmly focussed on finishing the year in the best possible fashion with Erebus.”
Ash Walsh has been rumoured to take Holdsworth’s place at Erebus with the team expected to make an announcement in the coming days.