Stone Brothers Racing’s Lee Holdsworth has made his first podium since moving to the team in what can be described as one of the most thrilling race finishes of the 2012 V8 Supercars Series.
Race 27 at Winton saw Holdsworth start his #4 IRWIN Racing Falcon in 6th position on the grid. He got off to a great start and moved up two places into 4th at the first corner of the opening lap.
While many cars pitted during the first lap when the safety car was deployed, the IRWIN Racing team stuck to their one stop strategy and stayed out on the hard tyres they had started the race on.
On lap 23 Holdsworth pitted, changed to soft tyres and when he re-joined the race he was positioned in 12th. From there progress up through the field edging his way closer to the frontrunners.
In the dying laps of the race Holdsworth had reached 4th place and with only Winterbottom standing in the way of a podium position he pushed ahead to come within under a tenth of a second of car #5.
With just two laps remaining car #5 was struggling to conserve fuel, but the race was shortened by one lap to 46 and there was a chance Winterbottom would make the full distance. The two cars turned the last corner and it came down to the final few metres. Winterbottom ran out of fuel and Holdsworth passed the chequered flag in 3rd.
For Tim Slade and the #47 Lucky 7 Racing crew it was a mixed day on track. Slade Qualified in a disappointing 18th, but turned it all around in the 140km race. He managed to narrowly avoid an incident which unfolded around him early on in the race. With a two stop pit strategy and good race pace he worked his way up through the field to finish in 6th place.
For Shane van Gisbergen his day went from good to bad. He Qualified his #9 SP Tools Racing Falcon in 4th and jumped up to 3rd place at the first corner on the opening lap of the race. But just nine laps in he was involved in an incident which punctured a tyre and forced him to pit.
The SP Tools crew changed tyres and he re-joined the race one lap down. Unfortunately he could feel there was a problem with the car and was forced to pit after completing just one more lap.
A bent right hand upper control arm couldn’t be fixed in time to get him back into the race so he had no option but to retire.
Heading into tomorrow’s Qualifying and Race 28 Gisbergen just holds on to 5th position on the Championship table with teammate Slade only 13 points behind in 6th. Holdsworth currently sits in 8th.
Lee Holdsworth – Car #4 IRWIN Racing:
“I’m absolutely stoked; you know we’ve been waiting for a podium all year. We were knocking on the door at the start of the year, mid-year went a bit south with results but we’ve found some form again at Abu Dhabi with qualifying. We’ve got some race pace and we’ve put it all together here.”
“I’m absolutely stoked for the whole team. It’s been a rough run, an up and down sort of year. Hopefully we can push for some really decent results like today for the remainder of the year, which there are few races left.”
Shane van Gisbergen – Car #9 SP Tools Racing:
“We pitted on lap one during the safety and put on the soft tyres which was the right decision but we just got caught up on some stuff going on in first part of the race. I’m not sure whose fault it was because I haven’t seen the vision yet, but it just ruins the day and it’s not the way I wanted to finish the race today.”
Tim Slade – Car #47 Lucky 7 Racing:
“Obviously qualifying was disappointing and I don’t know why we didn’t have the pace then. In the race we made our way past a few with strategy and the car was really good. The boys did a great job with strategy but we still didn’t have the pace of the other guys in front. So we still need to work on car set-up a little bit for tomorrow.”
“The main thing at the moment is to really concentrate on qualifying and to get more speed out of the car for that. So that’s something we haven’t solved yet and we need to work pretty hard on that tonight.”
“Overall I’m stoked with going from 18th to 6th and it was a good recovery. All the guys did a great job and it was good to finish in front of people we are around on the Championship table.”
Winton Race 27 – RESULTS:
1 1 TeamVodafone Jamie Whincup 01:08:36.3754
2 888 TeamVodafone Craig Lowndes 01:08:39.6107
3 4 Irwin Racing Lee Holdsworth 01:08:49.9752
4 5 Orrcon Steel FPR Ford Mark Winterbottom 01:08:50.0127
5 18 Team Norton DJR James Moffat 01:08:55.4305
6 47 Lucky 7 Racing Tim Slade 01:08:57.1324
7 19 Tekno Autosports Jonathon Webb 01:09:06.3248
8 2 Holden Racing Team Garth Tander 01:09:08.7407
9 91 Tekno Autosports Michael Patrizi 01:09:09.4380
10 3 Team Hiflex Tony D’Alberto 01:09:14.6794
DNF 9 SP Tools Racing Shane Van Gisbergen 16:08.4699
Winton Qualifying – RESULTS:
1 5 Orrcon Steel FPR Ford Mark Winterbottom 1:23.1443
2 1 TeamVodafone Jamie Whincup 1:23.3019
3 8 Team BOC Jason Bright 1:23.4422
4 9 SP Tools Racing Shane Van Gisbergen 1:23.4505
5 18 Team Norton DJR James Moffat 1:23.4879
6 4 Irwin Racing Lee Holdsworth 1:23.5808
7 14 Lockwood Racing Fabian Coulthard 1:23.5875
8 22 Holden Racing Team James Courtney 1:23.5963
9 15 Jack Daniel’s Racing Rick Kelly 1:23.6066
10 55 The Bottle-O Racing Team David Reynolds 1:23.6139
18 47 Lucky 7 Racing Tim Slade 1:23.7993