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HomeNewsAdelaide racer’s ultimate hat tip to Holdsworth

Adelaide racer’s ultimate hat tip to Holdsworth

AS Lee Holdsworth embarks on his final full-time Supercars Championship start at the Adelaide 500, one of his most famous cars is making a return.

The Garry Rogers Motorsport-built VE Commodore in which Holdsworth stormed to his first Supercars round win at Oran Park in 2007 is competing in the Dunlop Super3 Series round.

South Australian Adam Wallis has owned the car since 2011 and drove it in 17 Super2 Series rounds from purchase until 2016.

It was then returned to its original Valvoline colours and has made just one race appearance since, the Tailem Bend Super3 round in 2018.

“My 14-year-old son talked me into running it this weekend and I thought I’d leave it how it is,” Wallis told V8 Sleuth.

“It was put back in its original livery for a display (the 20-year celebrations of the Adelaide 500) in 2018. The original signwriter, Brushes (Neville Bolton) came to Adelaide to do it.

“It’s the car that Lee won Oran Park in and he also came second here (in the Sunday race of the Adelaide 500) in 2008.

“I just think it’s a cool looking car and everyone who looks at it says the same.”

Wallis’ Holden is one of two Holdsworth tribute cars in the Super3 field, with another South Australian, Chris Smerdon, fielding Lee’s 2012 Stone Brothers Falcon in its IRWIN colours.

The car is running its original #33. Pic: an1images.com

The Wallis Commodore is GRM VE09 – the second VE built by GRM and the first raced by Holdsworth.

The car debuted with Holdsworth at the wheel midway through 2007, winning a race and the round at a rain-hit Oran Park in just its second meeting.

Holdsworth continued in it until midway through 2008, when it was rested for the endurance races and then returned in Michael Caruso’s hands for the final rounds.

It was raced just once more by GRM, again with Caruso at Albert Park in 2009, before seeing out its time with the team as a spare and then being sold to Wallis.

Lee Holdsworth celebrates his maiden Supercars victory. Pic: an1images.com

The managing director of Wallis Mining, which sells Volvo Construction equipment in South Australia, Wallis has plenty of experience aboard Supercars.

He made the first of 37 career Super2 Series round starts back in 2001, having co-driven with Ross Halliday in the previous year’s Queensland 500 and Bathurst 1000.

“These things are unbelievable to drive,” Wallis, 49, said of his Supercar. “The older I get the more I appreciate them.”

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