Holdsworth damage worse than Sandown

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 15/10/2014
  • By V8 Supercars

Erebus Motorsport will today decide whether it will use itsspare E63 for the Gold Coast in just eight days' time, afterteam boss Ryan Maddison said the damage to Lee Holdsworth's #4 was worse than they saw at Sandown.

While on for a good result at the weekend's Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 Mount Panorama, a collision from Russell Ingall in the final stage saw the E63 not only hit hard into the tyre wall, but roll onto its roof.

After the impact, Ingall sped away to continue his race - which also ended in tragedy, with co-driver Tim Blanchard suffering a hard hit soon after - and was handed a drive-through penalty.

Meanwhile the Erebus team watched on in disbelief, after just having repaired that chassis after Holdsworth's huge accident at the last round at Sandown 500.

Fortunately,there is no question of whether the team will be ready for the streets of the Gold Coast eight days, the team holding a spare chassis in the workshopafter downgrading to two cars in the Championship for this season.

"There's absolutely no doubt we'll have a car at Gold Coast - at the moment it's not clear whether it will be that car or not," Maddison told v8supercars.com.au.

At first inspection, the team knew the car would need significant bar work, "if, at all, it is actually reparable," Maddison said.

"It's quite extensive in both the rear and also the upper section of the roll cage ... It's more than what we saw at Sandown, believe it or not."

He described the incident as surreal, as the team watched on in the garage.

"I was quite surprised that had all happened in front of us, considering we had looked so strong with that car," Maddison said.

"Again, same situation as what happened at Sandown - my first thoughts were for Lee. The first thing you do is literally sit in silence because there's so much going on around you that you sit in silence and just wait to hear words come back from the driver.

"He was definitely communicating with us before the medical car was there, so we could tell him the medical car was on its way, and he said he was hopping out of the car ...walking on the roof to get out."

The sister car, with Will and Alex Davison behind the wheel, finished the race in fourth - but Maddison believed Holdsworth, paired with Craig Baird was in an even stronger position than the #9 before the contact with Ingall.

"That car was on track as far as we were concerned with strategy, he was on track for a better last phase of the race than where the #9 car was. Now we know how the other guys played the strategy out with three in front of us at the end of that race, I'd say the other car was well and truly on for a podium.

"Lee was very comfortable with the car and happy to keep pushing forward so it makes it really bitter for us."

It is an unfortunate turn for Erebus, which experienced last year's best results across the Pirtek Enduro Cup, finishing fourth at the 2013 Sandown 500 and ending the endurance season fifth in the order, behind winners Craig Lowndes/Warren Luff, Jamie Whincup/Paul Dumbrell, Mark Winterbottom/Steven Richards, and Will Davison/Steve Owen.

Erebus isn't the only V8 Supercar team with significant damage after the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, with Walkinshaw Racing, Dick Johnson Racing, Volvo GRM, Brad Jones Racing and Lucas Dumbrell Racing having to repair cars after the hard-hitting race.

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