V8 Supercars – Test Day Excitement for Lee Holdsworth‏

February 9, 2012

V8 Supercars

The 2012 V8 Supercars season kicks off with an all-in test at Melbourne’s Sandown Raceway on Saturday.

Having last raced 69 days ago, the off-season has been a long one, so all 28 drivers will be looking forward to starting up the engines to see where they stand in the pecking order ahead of the series’ first event in Adelaide, at the start of March.

For IRWIN Racing’s new driving recruit Lee Holdsworth, the compulsory test means driving the IRWIN Tools Ford in its 2012 livery for the first time, getting used to a new car and seeing where he stands against team-mates Tim Slade and Shane van Gisbergen.

The all-day test will show which teams have worked the hardest over the past two months.

“The test is an important day because you have all the cars out there, so you will know where you are in terms of your pace compared to everyone else,” said Holdsworth.

“We’ll quickly see who has done a good job over the holidays and who has put in the most effort to improve their cars.

“It’s a really good opportunity to try the things that you have developed over the break.”

The day will allow teams to thoroughly go through new developments and trial new parts, search for a strong base set-up and prepare the cars for the first round – the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide in early March.

“The opening test day sets up the season a fair bit,” said Holdsworth.

“This is where you want to develop your car and get the base set-up for the year, which is what you want straight out of the truck. You develop things like shocks and try everything from one end of the scale to the other.

“For me though, I’ll be in a new car, so I want to try out different things and see what the changes do to the car.

“It’s very important and it does certainly show you where you are at the start of the year and probably gives you an idea of where you will be at the end of the year.”

Having only joined IRWIN Racing on January 1, Holdsworth will be aiming to get up to speed with his IRWIN Tools Ford and match times with his Stone Brothers Racing team mates.

“Obviously Tim Slade and Shane van Gisbergen are pretty quick, if I can be on their pace that will be a good start,” said Holdsworth.

“It will be hard to do, but that’s what I’m aiming at.”

The most interesting aspect of the day will see how the teams use their soft tyres, which are considerably faster than the standard hard tyre. Those that have a good set of softs will be at the top of the time sheets according to SBR Team Principal Ross Stone.

“The big variable will be soft tyres,” said Stone.

“Some teams will have new soft tyres and if they are not quickest on the day then they will have to have a good look at themselves.

“We plan on running one set of softs, which will happen at the end of the day, but they will be a used set so technically we won’t be the fastest on the day.

“The fastest car won’t necessarily lead times on the day, it will be the team with the best set of soft tyres.”

Regardless of what happens on the track, the test day has been opened up to the public, allowing free entry to everyone.

“It’s good for the crowd to come along and get a taste for it before the series starts,” said Holdsworth.

“It’ll get them all excited for the year plus we’ve all had a big break, so we’re just looking forward to getting back into it.

“Most of the new liveries will be seen for the very first time on the track as well.

“It’s a really good day for everyone; I just can’t wait to get back in the car.”

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