The purpose of the call was to see if they could reunite as a rock-solid PIRTEK Enduro Cup line-up.
“I actually rang Lee first and said ‘hey, I’m going to be looking for an enduro drive’ but he didn’t pick up the phone,” Caruso said on the V8 Sleuth podcast.
“And then I spoke to Waters and he worked out that he wanted a co-driver and he was like ‘I want Caruso’ so he ran in there and went to Tim [Edwards, Tickford CEO] before I had spoken to Tim, so that’s how that all started.
“So had Holdsy picked up the phone that day I could have been teammates with him last year.”
As it turned out, Waters and Caruso would become a dynamic combination although the cards did not quite fall their way – most notably at Bathurst when Waters was taken out by then teammate Chaz Mostert while battling at the pointy end.
Holdsworth would instead be paired with young gun Thomas Randle, the duo placing third at Sandown.
Waters/Caruso are expected to team up again in 2020, while Holdsworth’s co-driver is yet to be announced following Randle’s move to Brad Jones Racing.
Tickford had unveiled James Moffat, Jack Perkins and Alex Premat as the other three co-drivers in their ranks for this year.
An element of uncertainty though does surround Premat’s ability to travel out from his Las Vegas base before October’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
Other topics covered in the two-part podcast include how Caruso nearly made his main game debut with Tickford satellite Ford Rising Stars Racing in 2008 before being picked up by Garry Rogers Motorsport, and the tragic circumstances behind his ’06 Bathurst debut.