Silly season: What Holdsworth news means for 2023

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

Lee Holdsworth's retirement at season's end has thrown a curveball in the 2023 silly season.

Holdsworth will hang up the helmet on full-time driving at the end of the current season.

The 39-year-old joined Penrite Racing this year in the wake of his stunning Bathurst victory.

Holdsworth has signalled his ambition to land a plumb co-drive, as he did last year with Walkinshaw Andretti United.

The veteran's retirement all but shores up Penrite Racing's 2023 line-up, with Matt Payne earmarked to make his debut.

David Reynolds, meanwhile, is expected to re-sign with the Braeside outfit.

Mark Winterbottom is also expected to remain with Team 18, with Brad Jones Racing likely to retain its current driver line-up.

Payne is set to make the main game leap

Holdsworth's retirement opens a vacancy on the grid elsewhere, considering he had been linked to Blanchard Racing Team.

It came after Tim Slade was tipped to shift to PremiAir Racing.

BRT is only into its second season as a standalone team, with Gen3 performance pivotal to the team's future.

It's the same for first-year team PremiAir Racing, which has already undergone significant investment and change.

Suitors for BRT firm in the likes of Fabian Coulthard and Zane Goddard, who have scored plumb co-drives for Bathurst.

The latter has done the bulk of Gen3 Mustang testing, and would be an asset into the new era.

Coulthard, meanwhile, forms half of arguably the strongest pairing for this year's Great Race.

Coulthard is part of a blockbuster WAU line-up

The veteran Kiwi will race alongside Chaz Mostert with Walkinshaw Andretti United.

Holdsworth's Bathurst win last year catapulted him into a full-time drive, and Coulthard is hoping to do the same.

Main game teams are set to have an increased presence in Super2 next year.

Should any Super2 drivers be unable to land a 2023 main game seat, they could at least have another year in Super2 to prove themselves.

The Super2 category will exclusively comprise Gen3 Mustangs and ZB Commodores in 2023.

A strong candidate for the BRT vacancy could be Zak Best, who is on Tickford Racing's books in Super2.

Best is part of a five-into-four logjam; Tickford has agreements with all four of its incumbents into next year, unless Best can force himself into a seat.

Best wildly impressed in his Bend wildcard

The Ford team will expand to two Super2 entries next year, with Triple Eight also running two cars.

Running a Super2 car in 2023 will have merit for BRT should it fill its main game slot with an experienced driver.

BRT owns its current Mustang and is likely to join the second tier, and has a number of potential options to fill the seat.

Notably, young drivers Brad Vaughan and Josh Anderson represented the team in this year's Supercars Eseries.

BJR could also expand to two cars, MSR will likely run three cars, and Erebus Motorsport has an affiliation with Image Racing.

WAU has indicated interest in Super2, while Grove Racing's Super2 future is unclear given Payne's impending promotion.

All Grove cars are, however, owned by the Kelly family, which is assessing how to put its fleet to use.

Supercars will return to New Zealand on September 9-11. Purchase your ITM Auckland SuperSprint tickets now.

2023 Repco Supercars Championship grid (as of August 30, 2022)

Driver Team
Broc Feeney Red Bull Ampol Racing
Shane van Gisbergen Red Bull Ampol Racing
Will Davison Shell V-Power Racing Team
Anton De Pasquale Shell V-Power Racing Team
James Courtney Tickford Racing
Cam Waters Tickford Racing
Thomas Randle Tickford Racing
Jake Kostecki Tickford Racing
Nick Percat Walkinshaw Andretti United
Chaz Mostert Walkinshaw Andretti United
Will Brown Erebus Motorsport
Brodie Kostecki Erebus Motorsport
Scott Pye Team 18
TBA Team 18
TBA CoolDrive Racing
Matt Payne Penrite Racing
TBA Penrite Racing
Andre Heimgartner Brad Jones Racing
TBA Brad Jones Racing
TBA Brad Jones Racing
TBA Brad Jones Racing
TBA PremiAir Racing
TBA PremiAir Racing
Jack Le Brocq Matt Stone Racing
Todd Hazelwood Matt Stone Racing
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