Holdsworth announces shock retirement

30 Aug 2022
Reigning Bathurst winner calls it a day
4 mins by James Pavey

Penrite Racing veteran Lee Holdsworth has announced his retirement from full-time Supercars competition.

The reigning Bathurst 1000 champion will conclude his full-time career at the end of the 2022 season.

Holdsworth’s ambition is to secure a plumb co-drive for 2023.

The 39-year-old recently brought up 500 race starts at Sandown.

There, he said he only wants to keep racing if he's competitive and "got the motivation and drive to run up the front".

The veteran’s retirement comes amid a desire to spend more time with family.

The four-time race winner will see out the remaining rounds aboard the #10 Penrite Mustang.

Penrite Racing handed Holdsworth a full-time lifeline for 2022 following his Bathurst breakthrough.

Holdsworth was cast to the scrapheap for 2021 after Tickford Racing downscaled to three cars.

Walkinshaw Andretti United moved to swiftly to poach Holdsworth alongside Chaz Mostert.

The pair duly went on to dominate last December’s Repco Bathurst 1000 from pole position.

Holdsworth had already locked in a full-time job with industrial real estate firm CBRE for 2022.

However, with Andre Heimgartner leaving Braeside, the Groves came calling.

"After considerable thought, I have now made the difficult decision to call it a day on my career as a full-time Supercars driver," he said.

Bathurst victory Holdsworth's 'pinnacle'

"I’ve lived and breathed this sport since I was six years old and had the privilege of being a Supercars driver for over 17 years.

"It’s required huge sacrifices, hard work and commitment, but above all else it’s required enormous support from my family. For that I am extremely grateful.

"Despite opportunities to extend my full-time Supercars career, I feel the time is right to focus on a future outside motorsport and devoting more time to my wife Alana and our children, Ava and Riley, as they grow up.

"A big thank you to the people who have followed me, backed me and supported me over my many years in the sport.

"My fans, my sponsors, my friends and my family. And thank you to the teams and crews with whom I have worked and shared so many memorable experiences."

Holdsworth was handed his full-time debut by Garry Rogers in 2006, and raced for Rogers’ team until 2011.


He joined Stone Brothers Racing in 2012 and remained through its evolution into Erebus Motorsport.

Holdsworth first won at Oran Park in 2007

A stint with Team 18 preceded two years with Tickford.

Holdsworth had been linked to Blanchard Racing Team for 2023, given Matt Payne’s anticipated main game promotion.

Tim Slade, meanwhile, is tipped to shift to PremiAir Racing.

Holdsworth’s retirement opens a vacancy at BRT, with several young talents and free agents keen on a 2023 seat.

Holdsworth won’t be there next season - in a full-time capacity, at least.

"I particularly want to thank Rob Smith and Garry Rogers for having the faith to give me a start in the sport I love so much and which has contributed so much to my life," he said.

"I will leave my full-time role in the sport proud of my approach and resilience. I’m also humbled by the countless number of friends I have made along the way, on the track, off the track and away from the track.

Holdsworth scored an Albert Park podium

"The 500 plus Supercars races I’ve contested have brought victories and podiums across three different manufacturers, including winning the Bathurst 1000 which was the pinnacle of my time in the sport.

"For the remainder of 2022, I am committed to delivering the best results for Penrite and our other great partners, as well as for the dedicated staff and crew who pour their hearts and souls into the team.

"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.

"At the conclusion of the 2022 championship, I will focus on the next chapter of my life.

"This will include furthering my career with CBRE Commercial Real Estate, and of course, returning in 2023 and beyond as a co-driver to again set out to win the Bathurst 1000.

"I have been very fortunate to have been involved in a world class category for so long.

"Thanks for the ride. Thanks for the memories. Thanks for all the friendships."

December’s VALO Adelaide 500 will be Holdsworth’s final round as a full-time driver.

Holdsworth will race alongside Payne at October’s Repco Bathurst 1000.

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

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