Grove: Holdsworth has been 'a real asset'

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 30/08/2022
  • By James Pavey

Stephen Grove says the retiring Lee Holdsworth has been a "real asset" to his team despite the relationship lasting a year.

Holdsworth and Penrite Racing announced Tuesday that the Bathurst winner has ended his full-time career.

The veteran driver will hang up the helmet at season's end to focus on family and life beyond Supercars.

Holdsworth is keen to secure a plumb co-drive for 2023, and is sure to attract a number of high-profile suitors.

Last year, Holdsworth combined with Chaz Mostert to win Bathurst with Walkinshaw Andretti United.

It facilitated a full-time return with the Groves, with Holdsworth handed the reins to a Penrite-backed Mustang.

Holdsworth's 2022 highlight was a surprise podium at Albert Park from 15th on the grid.

'He’s genuinely a racer at heart'

The 39-year-old's future with Penrite Racing was uncertain given Matt Payne has been guaranteed a drive.

With David Reynolds expected to re-sign, Holdsworth was likely to leave, and was later linked to Blanchard Racing Team.

"For the remainder of 2022, I am committed to delivering the best results for the team," Holdsworth said.

"Thank you to the Grove family. I’ve enjoyed contributing to and being part of the Penrite/Grove team this year.

"It’s not over yet."

Grove says he'd "love" to see Holdsworth carry on, but understands the father-of-three's non-racing ambitions.

Regardless, Grove is determined to give Holdsworth a competitive package for the remaining rounds in 2022.

"Once the opportunity presented itself to have Lee in Grove Racing to help facilitate our development in 2022, we quickly moved to secure his experience,” Grove said.

"He’s genuinely a racer at heart and I am looking forward to him working with Matt Payne for the Bathurst 1000.

"I’d love to see him keep driving but understand the direction he wants to go at this stage in his life.

"His experience has been a real asset to the team this year as we continue to grow.

"We now want to focus on giving him the best possible package to go out on the high that he deserves in his full-time career."

Holdsworth will continue his 2022 campaign in New Zealand next weekend.

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