After a promising start to the Sydney Motorsport Park weekend with a P9 finish in free practice 1, Saturday’s final practice session saw Lee Holdsworth’s Preston Hire racer was forced to return to the garage early with a gearbox issue which the team had to rush and fix before qualifying.
Following this issue, Lee struggled to qualify 21st and after the session the team found an oil leak that was spraying on to the rear tyre and once again were forced to race against the clock to be ready for the opening race of the weekend.
Due to a competitor’s penalty, Lee actually started race 17 from 20th on the grid and being so far back in the field, narrowly avoided a series of clashes on the opening lap. Following this, he struggled with lack of speed in his Preston Hire racer and dropped down the order at the Safety Car Restart.
By the time the 31 lap race came to an end, Lee was still down the field in 18th place but he was later promoted to P15 with penalties for James Moffat, Shane van Gisbergen and Scott McLaughlin.
On Sunday a good qualifying session saw Holdsworth start just outside the ten, and a solid Race strategy saw him move into P9 after the final pit-stop. However, the balance in the car changed as the track gripped up, and in turn this hurt the tyre life. Holdsworth fought hard and managed to hang on to finish 15th, moving him into 12th place in the Championship Standings.
“A pair of 15th’s in the races certainly wasn’t the aim for the weekend, but somehow we jumped up another spot in the championship to 12th, and closed the gap to 11th!” Lee said. “Can’t wait to start the endurance campaign next round with Karl and bag some big points. Bring it on!”
Preston Hire Racing are now busy preparing for round 10, the Sandown 500 on September 15-17.