LEE Holdsworth’s move to racing full-time in the TCR Australia Series became possible thanks to some support from his former boss at Erebus, Betty Klimenko.
Holdsworth will race an Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce as part of the two-car Ashley Seward Motorsport team.
He had his first drive of the car at Symmons Plains last week ahead of the opening round of the championship on January 24-26, which will have practice held on Sunday, followed by qualifying and racing across Monday and the Australia Day public holiday on Tuesday.
On the bonnet of the Alfa sits the logo of Erebus Garage, the Supercars team’s automotive repair and servicing offshoot that it started last year.
Although it is purely a sponsorship arrangement, the move rekindles the relationship between Holdsworth and the team boss he drove for back in 2013 and 2014.
“Once she saw the rumours about me not having drive, she rang me and said she’d love to help out with my next step, which is just bloody brilliant really,” Holdsworth told the V8 Sleuth Podcast.
Listen to the full episode in the player below!
“From where I was, I was like: ‘shit, what do I do now?’ It was just before the new year, so very late in the piece.
“Ash (Seward) gave me a call, and I was speaking to other teams about coming and driving in TCR.
“There was a drive lined up for me but obviously everyone needs a bit of a budget behind them to get the car to the track, and at that point I didn’t have much behind me at all.
“Betty got the ball rolling for me. I’m massively in debt to her personally, she’s been amazing and we’ve always had a great relationship since the Erebus days.
“I’m pretty stoked to have her support.”
In addition to his TCR Series program Holdsworth is expected to line-up for this year’s Bathurst 1000 in a co-driver role, rumoured to be with Walkinshaw Andretti United.
In the first part of a two-part episode, Holdsworth tells the V8 Sleuth Podcast about where his love of motorsport came from, his unorthodox progression towards Supercars compared to his peers, the ‘manual Tinder’ event where he met his wife Alana, plus the true origins of his ‘Leethal’ nickname and the straightforward way he got it to stick at Garry Rogers Motorsport.