Holdsworth: "I'm just shattered"

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 16/10/2014
  • By V8 Supercars

Lee Holdsworth suffered another horrendous accident at the second consecutive race meeting, and now his Erebus team will work around the clock to build up a new chassis.

Holdsworth has been through the two biggest crashes of his V8 Supercars career at the last two events, this time the car landing on its roof after a nudge from Russell Ingall at the notorious turn two at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.

"Very disappointed -physically I'm fine, just shattered," Holdsworth told v8supercars.com.au.

"To have another big crash -the two biggest crashes in my career in the last three or four weeks - and neither of them were my fault!

"That puts a bit of a redeemer on things, I know there's nothing I could've done different.

"But we were running in a really good position and hopefully would've competed for the podium or the win at the end of the race, so it's really disappointing, obviously. Just got to keep persisting, keep my head up and hope for a result at Gold Coast."

The hardest part for Holdsworth is that he was not at fault in either incident -and seeing his teammates Will and Alex Davison, who were on a weaker strategy, finish fourth created more questions of what could have been.

"Things aren't going our way at the moment -you look at the Championship and things could've been so different.

"If we'd just finished Sandown and where we were at Bathurst, I'd be top 10 in the Championship -but instead I'm 19. So our Championship position is certainly no indication of our speed during the year or the potential we've shown."

Holdsworth said he had just gotten by both Ingall and Todd Kelly at the final corner on the previous lap of the Bathurst 1000, and Ingall had been caught out trying to get the spot back from the Jack Daniel's Nissan.

"I'm always aware of what's going on behind me, I could see Kelly in my mirror but Russell ... Russell was well out of my view in my mirror ... once you turn into that corner you're watching the road, not your mirror, so there was not much I could do about that unfortunately.

"I copped that massive hit, put me up on the tyres and it rolled over and that's unfortunately the end of that car."

Ingall spoke to Holdsworth post-race and there were no hard feelings.

"It was a big mistake from Russ, he certainly wasn't going for the pass on me, I know that, he was just going for the pass on Kelly and made a major mistake.

"It was very costly for us, for him -he came over afterwards and was feeling pretty devastated for me, for himself, and upset with himself, I guess, that he made that mistake ... there was nothing he could do -I know it wasn't intentional, and I'm mates with Russ."

Some fans were quick to criticise Ingall for driving away from the accident -and not jumping out of the car, as seen with the Craig Lowndes/Warren Luff incident earlier in the weekend at the same corner - but he stayed on the scene until he had been informed Holdsworth was ok.

Dean Fiore in the white Nissan -who TV mistook for Holdsworth's close friend Michael Caruso -also pulled up alongside the crashed Mercedes until he was informed Holdsworth was ok.

"It was Caruso's car, but Fiore in the car -that was a pretty cool thing to do and I have a lot of respect for him doing that," Holdsworth said.

"I know Russell got on the blower to his engineer and asked if I was ok and got the all clear before he took off.

"Although it looked bad, him driving away, he found out I was ok before he left."

Having never tipped upside-down before, Holdsworth struggled to get out of the car, and for a moment believed it was on fire given he wasn't being assisted with his belts and HANS device.

"I've never been on my roof before," Holdsworth said.

"Everything happened so slow, just like Sandown, I had a lot of time to think about it. When I was in the roll, I rolled onto the side and it just seemed like it took forever to roll onto its roof.

"And then hanging there, blood rushing to my head -I got a serious headache straight away, and I tried to work out how the hell to get out of the car because I've never had to get out of a car upside down. I put my hand on the roof to support myself while I unbuckled my belts and -to be honest I was furious no one was helping me to get out. I know they'd been instructed not to because of spinal injury but ... we have to address that.

"You've got so many things connected and a situation like that you're not thinking straight, you're just trying to get out of the car. You've got your helmet fan, your cool suit connected - all I did was undo my radio and my belt and then tried to get out. At that stage I was halfway out of the car with everything still connected, I was all tangled up ... I was thinking, was there a fire?"

Now, the Erebus crew will "burn the midnight oil" as Holdsworth puts it, to build up the new chassis -his first replacement since moving to the new generation V8 Supercar for the start of the 2013 V8 Supercars season -which is not one of the E63s raced last year.

The Gold Coast event begins next week on October 24, so the team has until Tuesday evening to finish the build.

Erebus is just one of many teams with extensive damage to repair, including Walkinshaw Racing, Dick Johnson Racing and Lucas Dumbrell Racing after Ingall's co-driver Tim Blanchard suffered a heavy hit shortly after the incident with Holdsworth.

Holdsworth believed Erebus could get back on-track in the final round of the Pirtek Enduro Cup, particularly with Craig Baird's effort in the driver's seat.

"Like always, Bairdo did a fantastic job and out of most of the co-drivers he's one of the best. He didn't put a foot wrong all day -it's good fun to share the seat with him."

Last year the pair finished the Pirtek Enduro Cup in fifth position, recording 12th and fifth place finishes at the Gold Coast.

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