A change of suspension set-up direction has taken Walkinshaw Racing’s Team 18 to seventh in the final day of the Townsville 400.
Lee Holdsworth drove a stunning 1:13.6368 in the morning’s qualifying session to get his Holden Commodore inside the top ten and into his first Shootout of the season.
The Walkinshaw driver was third onto the circuit and posted a time fast enough to succeed 9th. It was a great result for Holdsworth, who would then lead the Walkinshaw pack through the start of the race.
With 70 laps to complete, it wasn’t long after the first pit-stops were taken that a Safety Car was called in order to retrieve debris from the track.
The game plan then changed. The team switched to a three-stop strategy, Lee stopping for his last stop with 38 laps to go, and back onto softs for the sprint home.
Holdsworth maintained speed until the chequered flag where he crossed 7th, only tenths of a second behind Chaz Mostert.
Team 18 will be looking to continue their fine form at the next round of the V8 Supercars Championship in Ipswich later this month.
Lee Holdsworth - #18 Holden VF Commodore
“It was nice to get the car to respond to the changes we made and that was a really good thing for my confidence.
“I could feel the tyre straight away which is something we haven’t felt for a long time and I was able to get the most out of it on one lap.
“We had really good pace and we knew we had good tyre life from yesterday but we needed a bit more speed and we had that today.
“The strategy worked, I was scratching my head at one point but the guys in the pits obviously knew what they were doing and I knew we’d end up somewhere near the front.
“We had to pick them off through the traffic and try get up as far as we could before the next stop; I ended up in a little battle with Garth and JC but they just had a bit more speed than we did and ended up a little further up.
“It’s such a relief after the hard work that we have all been putting into it and not getting any reward and then finally this weekend, something has clicked.
“I don’t want to speak too early but I feel like we are heading in the right direction.”