Now sitting as the only non-Ford Mustang in the Championship top 10, Brett Holdsworth feels he and the Ashley Seward Motorsport team have managed to find more pace in their Chevrolet Camaro.
Entering the weekend with lowered expectations after 13 years on the Bathurst sidelines, Holdsworth wasted no time in coming up to speed and reasserting his presence in the top five. The Breeze Holiday Parks sponsored driver qualified in sixth position, despite having his fastest lap blocked by traffic. The session wasn’t without its drama however, with Holdsworth copping a two place grid penalty for impeding Nash Morris.
“Today (Friday) has exceeded my expectations coming in, obviously most of these guys I’m racing have done hundreds of laps around this place and I’ve really only got that sort of running on iRacing,” said Holdsworth.
“Practice one allowed me to find my feet again, and correlate what I talked through on the track walk and then practice two and qualifying I just got closer and closer to the front.”
Saturday’s two races saw Holdsworth charge his way forward amid a flurry of bold overtakes and scintillating battles across the dual nine lap affairs. Race one saw Holdsworth finish in seventh with a last lap overtake which finally brought to an end a race long battle with Morris and Nic Carroll. In race two Holdsworth initially dropped back to eighth before he was able to navigate his way up the order to finish in fourth position, marking his best result of the season so far.
“That was some of the most fun I’ve had in a long time on the racetrack. Our #99 Chevy Camaro just keeps getting better and we certainly managed to find something extra in terms of pace this weekend. Race two was really fun, the racing has been really respectful and we’re able to go door to door and lean on each other a bit which is what this series is all about.”
Combined round points set the grid for race three with Holdsworth starting from fifth, missing out on a row two berth by virtue of a qualifying speed tie breaker. The #99 exhibited exceptional pace as Holdsworth piled on the pressure in the battle for the final podium spot, unfortunately the race was cut short due to a crash further back and Holdsworth had to settle for fifth place.
“It’s been the best pace we’ve had all year, the car has a lot more point now and across the top we were really quick. I still think the Mustang has a bit on us in a straight line but hopefully that won’t be as much of an issue when we go to Eastern Creek.
“It probably took me until the end of qualifying to really figure out how to attack this place again, and from that point on it was solid. We could have been on the podium if we’d started the weekend a bit higher up, it was just so hard to pass especially with our strengths and weaknesses compared to the Mustang.
“We’re up to fourth in the championship which is brilliant, hopefully we can maintain the pace we had this weekend and pick up some silverware this year,” Holdsworth concluded.
The next round of the Turtle Wax Trans Am Series will take place at Sydney Motorsport Park from May 27-29.
Qualifying – 6th (8th)
Race 1 – 7th
Race 2 – 4th
Race 3 – 5th
1 Nathan Herne – 576
2 Tim Brook – 557
3 Owen Kelly – 522
4 Brett Holdsworth – 503
5 Kyle Gurton – 484
6 Jon McCorkindale – 463
7 Edan Thornburrow – 463
8 Lochie Dalton – 436
9 Hugh McAlister – 432
10 Chris Pappas – 426