Infotainment Factory: Supercars driver's candid admission about 'imbecile' opponent

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Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Supercars driver's candid admission about 'imbecile' opponent


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Supercars driver Lee Holdsworth has played down any lingering tensions with fellow driver Richie Stanaway, after the pair were involved in a heated clash during last month’s Albert Park round.

The pair made contact during both races on the Saturday at the Australian Grand Prix, with Holdsworth fronting Stanaway and accusing him of being an “imbecile” and suggesting his driving was “going to friggin’ hurt someone”.

Stanaway was disqualified from the race and fined $10,000 after being found guilty of dangerous driving, with the contact deemed intentional and improper.

But ahead of this weekend’s round at Symmons Plains in Tasmania, Holdsworth has dismissed any suggestion of ongoing drama.

“Well I haven’t heard from him actually!” Holdsworth laughed when Wide World of Sports asked if there’d been any fallout.

“He hasn’t sent me any birthday invites or anything!

Lee Holdsworth was involved in a heated exchange with Richie Stanaway in Melbourne.

“All that stuff, you get caught in the emotion of it. I’m very passionate about what I do, and when something like that goes on you take it to heart and emotions get in the way.

“I don’t regret what I did, and I don’t regret what I said, but that’s in the past now and we’ll move on.”

Of more immediate concern to Holdsworth is the decision by Supercars to reposition the ballast in the Ford Mustangs, designed to raise the centre of gravity (COG) in the all-conquering car.

Mustang drivers have won all six races this season, with Scott McLaughlin taking victory on five occasions, and Holdsworth’s Tickford Racing teammate Chaz Mostert victorious once.

To ensure parity between the Mustang, Holden Commodore and Nissan Altima, Supercars have mandated that the Ford teams must run extra weight at the top of their roll-cage, while a similar but smaller change has also been imposed on the Holden teams.

Holdsworth said the change, as well as Tickford Racing’s less than impressive form at the Tasmanian circuit of the years, could make things tough this weekend.

Tickford Racing have been forced to raise the centre of gravity in the Ford Mustang.

“We don’t really know how the cars will perform and how the penalty will affect them,” he said.

“I’m sure the COG change will play some part. But we can’t be focused on what it might do, we’ve just got to accept that that’s what it is and just do the best job we can.

“Obviously this track was a real challenge for Tickford Racing last year, so we certainly don’t expect to go there and dominate this weekend.”

At around 50 seconds to complete a lap, Symmons Plains represents the shortest circuit of the year, with just fractions of a second separating the cars.

It means one mistake during qualifying can be costly.

“Even hundredths of a second can be the difference between first and fifth, or 10th and 20th,” said Holdsworth.

“Every little bit counts. We’re always looking for a tow from the car infront, just to get a couple of hundredths of a second down the straight, and that can be a huge gain.”

While the circuit looks straightforward, with only three heavy braking zones, the closeness of the field is the biggest challenge, according to former champion Shane van Gisbergen.

“It looks simple on paper, but that’s what makes it tough,” van Gisbergen told Wide World of Sports.

“The whole field is normally within six or eight tenths around there, it’s pretty crazy. You’ve got to get everything right, and if you don’t you can drop five grid spots in a flash. It’s critical to be right on your game and get everything just right.”

Shane van Gisbergen has had a mixed start to 2019.

Van Gisbergen’s Triple Eight team has dominated at Symmons Plains in recent years, and the 2016 Supercars champion is desperate for a good result after a horror outing in Melbourne three weeks ago.

The Commodore driver endured a nightmare weekend that included an engine failure and a lost wheel, leaving him with plenty of work to do in the championship, even at this early stage.

“We’re way down in the championship, because Melbourne was just shocking,” he said.

“We’ve got to start clawing some points back and get back into a rhythm, because one bad weekend has obviously hurt us, but it hasn’t ended the championship hopes. But we need to get back up there at Symmons.

“It was just one of those things, you learn from it and make sure it doesn’t happen again, but it’s going to be very difficult to claw it back.”

Supercars driver Lee Holdsworth has played down any lingering tensions with fellow driver Richie Stanaway, after the pair were involved in a heated clash during last month’s Albert Park round.

The pair made contact during both races on the Saturday at the Australian Grand Prix, with Holdsworth fronting Stanaway and accusing him of being an “imbecile” and suggesting his driving was “going to friggin’ hurt someone”.

Stanaway was disqualified from the race and fined $10,000 after being found guilty of dangerous driving, with the contact deemed intentional and improper.

But ahead of this weekend’s round at Symmons Plains in Tasmania, Holdsworth has dismissed any suggestion of ongoing drama.

“Well I haven’t heard from him actually!” Holdsworth laughed when Wide World of Sports asked if there’d been any fallout.

“He hasn’t sent me any birthday invites or anything!

Lee Holdsworth was involved in a heated exchange with Richie Stanaway in Melbourne.

“All that stuff, you get caught in the emotion of it. I’m very passionate about what I do, and when something like that goes on you take it to heart and emotions get in the way.

“I don’t regret what I did, and I don’t regret what I said, but that’s in the past now and we’ll move on.”

Of more immediate concern to Holdsworth is the decision by Supercars to reposition the ballast in the Ford Mustangs, designed to raise the centre of gravity (COG) in the all-conquering car.

Mustang drivers have won all six races this season, with Scott McLaughlin taking victory on five occasions, and Holdsworth’s Tickford Racing teammate Chaz Mostert victorious once.

To ensure parity between the Mustang, Holden Commodore and Nissan Altima, Supercars have mandated that the Ford teams must run extra weight at the top of their roll-cage, while a similar but smaller change has also been imposed on the Holden teams.

Holdsworth said the change, as well as Tickford Racing’s less than impressive form at the Tasmanian circuit of the years, could make things tough this weekend.

Tickford Racing have been forced to raise the centre of gravity in the Ford Mustang.

“We don’t really know how the cars will perform and how the penalty will affect them,” he said.

“I’m sure the COG change will play some part. But we can’t be focused on what it might do, we’ve just got to accept that that’s what it is and just do the best job we can.

“Obviously this track was a real challenge for Tickford Racing last year, so we certainly don’t expect to go there and dominate this weekend.”

At around 50 seconds to complete a lap, Symmons Plains represents the shortest circuit of the year, with just fractions of a second separating the cars.

It means one mistake during qualifying can be costly.

“Even hundredths of a second can be the difference between first and fifth, or 10th and 20th,” said Holdsworth.

“Every little bit counts. We’re always looking for a tow from the car infront, just to get a couple of hundredths of a second down the straight, and that can be a huge gain.”

While the circuit looks straightforward, with only three heavy braking zones, the closeness of the field is the biggest challenge, according to former champion Shane van Gisbergen.

“It looks simple on paper, but that’s what makes it tough,” van Gisbergen told Wide World of Sports.

“The whole field is normally within six or eight tenths around there, it’s pretty crazy. You’ve got to get everything right, and if you don’t you can drop five grid spots in a flash. It’s critical to be right on your game and get everything just right.”

Shane van Gisbergen has had a mixed start to 2019.

Van Gisbergen’s Triple Eight team has dominated at Symmons Plains in recent years, and the 2016 Supercars champion is desperate for a good result after a horror outing in Melbourne three weeks ago.

The Commodore driver endured a nightmare weekend that included an engine failure and a lost wheel, leaving him with plenty of work to do in the championship, even at this early stage.

“We’re way down in the championship, because Melbourne was just shocking,” he said.

“We’ve got to start clawing some points back and get back into a rhythm, because one bad weekend has obviously hurt us, but it hasn’t ended the championship hopes. But we need to get back up there at Symmons.

“It was just one of those things, you learn from it and make sure it doesn’t happen again, but it’s going to be very difficult to claw it back.”

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