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Back to karting for V8 racer Holdsworth

V8 Supercar driver Lee Holdsworth returns to the Ipswich Kart Club where he started his racing career. Photo: David Nielsen / The Queensland Times
V8 Supercar driver Lee Holdsworth returns to the Ipswich Kart Club where he started his racing career. Photo: David Nielsen / The Queensland Times David Nielsen
Lee Holdsworth gets ready to kart as a youth. Photo: Contributed
Lee Holdsworth gets ready to kart as a youth. Photo: Contributed Contributed

V8 SUPERCAR driver Lee Holdsworth (pictured) went back to where it all began yesterday when he went for a spin around the Ipswich Kart Club circuit.

The 31-year-old, who drives for the Erebus Motorsport team, learned the finer points of racing as a youth at the Ipswich club before embarking on a career that has seen him race at the top level for a decade.

Holdsworth, who will contest the Coates Hire Ipswich 400 at Queensland Raceway this weekend in his Mercedes-Benz, relished the opportunity to drive a go-kart in Ipswich again and said the lessons learned in his younger days could not be under estimated.

"It has been a long time since I have been out here in a go-kart, but I did start out here in 1989 when I was seven years old and I raced out here for 10 or 11 years," he said.

"All the (V8) field started in go-karts.

"This is where you learn your basic skills of racing - your apexes, your braking markers, your acceleration points and your race craft.

"My dad taught me all those basic skills.

"I used to race against Scott Howard, whose kart I am driving in today, and we had some fantastic battles. I got a lot of mates from the sport as well."

Holdsworth had a breakthrough win for the Erebus team at Winton in April after a year of trials and tribulations.

"In 2013 we were trying to develop the Mercedes- Benz AMG and it was really tough," he said.

"The boys put in so many hours to try and get them to the standard that they need to be in order to be competitive.

"I had a lot of heartache in that time with reliability problems, bad results and bad speeds.

"We developed a much better package in 2014 and the win (at Winton) came a lot quicker than what I would have guessed.

"It was an awesome reward for Erebus Motorsport, and great to get our confidence back up and build on something really special."

Holdsworth would relish nothing more than to succeed at Queensland Raceway this weekend.

"It is a pretty basic track, but it does present some pretty good racing," he said.

"There is nearly a passing opportunity at every corner.

Lee Holdsworth gets ready to kart as a youth. Photo: Contributed
Lee Holdsworth gets ready to kart as a youth. Photo: Contributed Contributed

"It is a huge braking circuit, so the challenges are getting off the corner for the long straights and making sure you make the most of them.

"And you need really strong braking ... with four major braking corners.

"It is our test track and we have done a lot of development and set-up work around there, so hopefully with that knowledge we will be ahead of a lot of the field."

Yesterday was a trip down memory lane, and Holdsworth loved every minute of it.

"I saw the first go-kart track that was here and it was a much shorter track than it is now," he said.

"It was a couple of years into my career that they went to a longer track and this is now the best facility I have seen in go-karting.

"I haven't been in a go-kart in so many years and the thrill you get is amazing.

"You are an inch off the ground and it feels like you are doing 300 clicks down the straight when in actual fact you are doing 150 or 160.

"It is just awesome to jump back in a go-kart again."

V8 Supercar driver Lee Holdsworth returns to the Ipswich Kart Club where he started his racing career. Closely followed here by fellow V8 driver Jamie Whincup. Photo: David Nielsen / The Queensland Times
V8 Supercar driver Lee Holdsworth returns to the Ipswich Kart Club where he started his racing career. Closely followed here by fellow V8 driver Jamie Whincup. Photo: David Nielsen / The Queensland Times David Nielsen

 

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