A widely-expected switch in the V8 supercars ranks has finally been confirmed, with Garry Rogers Motorsport driver Lee Holdsworth announcing that he will defect to Ford and join the Stone Brothers Racing operation.
With most teams’ 2012 line-ups remaining unchanged from this year’s, Holdsworth was one of the few out-of-contract drivers who could shake up the driver market in the traditional ‘silly season’ that hits the championship at around this time of year.
Holdsworth claimed a podium finish in the second race of last weekend’s ArmorAll 600 on the Gold Coast, and has since confirmed in an interview with Sydney’s Daily Telegraph that he will swap camps in the off-season.
The Melbourne driver made his top-level V8 Supercars debut as a 21-year-old endurance race co-driver in 2004, before stepping up to a full-time role with Garry Rogers Motorsport in 2006.
He claimed the first of his two career wins (to-date) in 2007 at Oran Park. He won the final race of last year’s season-ending Sydney Telstra 500, which saw him vault to a career-best seventh overall in last year’s Drivers’ Championship standings.
Holdsworth currently lies eighth overall in this year’s championship standings, with two second-placed finishes at Hamilton and Winton on top of his third place last weekend at Surfers Paradise.
The three-year deal, believed to be worth about $1 million, will see Holdsworth partner established Stone Brothers runners Shane van Gisbergen and Tim Slade. The move will see Alex Davison cast from the team, despite having his best season to-date in full-time V8 competition.
[Image via Speed Cafe and Stanbridges]
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