A strong test day and gains over recent weeks have helped Lee Holdsworth put rough results behind him.
The IRWIN Tools racer, who has long been recognised as a talent in the paddock, suffered five consecutive DNFs across the Townsville and Ipswich events.
But confident the team is on the right path, and with less emphasis on qualifying in the endurance races, the 30-year old is positive heading to the Wilson Security Sandown 500.
“It was a difficult situation, the five DNFs in a row was playing on my mind,” Holdsworth told v8supercars.com.au.
“I was wondering what I’m doing wrong – but knew it all came down to qualifying.
“When the qualifying speed is not there, you’re in amongst the rat race and unfortunately get tangled up in other people’s incidents.
“I’ve never been a crasher, and I didn’t cause any I was involved in. It was just unfortunate and a chain of events that were unlucky.
“But you have to create your own luck, qualify better and get out of the danger zone at the back.”
Holdsworth said managing the development year Erebus Motorsport V8 was pushing through with the new generation Mercedes-Benz E63s meant being patient, assessing his personal performance, and not kicking himself if he was driving well, but the results weren’t coming.
“Sometimes you might have had one of the best drives you’ve ever driven, but recent results show I finished in the 20s,” he said.
“You’ve got to assess your own performance, rather than the result, otherwise you do your head in. It’s been pretty tough in that way … you just have to hang in there, help the team move forward and give as much direction as you can.”
While he did finish races at the last event, Winton couldn’t be described as a happy hunting ground, after qualifying in the bottom three for all races. Holdsworth said the team had gone “up the garden path”, following a direction that wasn’t the right one.
But, the weekend in regional Victoria had been a catalyst for change, and after the positive test day, Holdsworth – who is paired with Porsche ace Craig Baird – can look forward to the Wilson Security Sandown 500.
“The 47 car (of Tim Slade) has shown really good speed this year and that gives me a bit of hope. We’ve got to find what the cars want because they obviously can produce the speed when we get it right.
“There have been a lot of positives recently, we’ve improved the engine temperature issue we had previously this year, improved horsepower throughout the year and are making steps forward.
“We’ve just got to look forward and not backwards … I have every bit of confidence we’ll get to where we want to be by the end of the year.”
For the Wilson Security Sandown 500, the IRWIN Tools #4 will be running a ‘Thanks’ livery, recognising National Tradesman Day. In fact, over the weekend it was announced all three Erebus Motorsport V8 machines would be running revised liveries.
The Heavy Haulage Australia racer of Tim Slade (pairing with Andrew Thompson) has a scheme playing on ’10-4’, the CB code, which will remain for the rest of the 2013 season.
Maro Engel’s car (which he will share with Steven Johnson) will run a ‘tattoo’ scheme – something near and dear to team owner Betty Klimenko’s heart – for the endurance races.
A handful of teams have announced revised looks for the event, including Holden Racing Team's Collingwood Football Club bonnet scheme and Dick Johnson's Racing's updated Wilson Security livery.