Holdsworth braced for Darwin return

Lee Holdsworth says it’s been ‘preparation as normal’ in the lead up to his return to Hidden Valley, where he was seriously injured in a crash last year.

Holdsworth braced for Darwin return
The crashed car of Lee Holdsworth, Team 18 Holden
Lee Holdsworth, Team 18 Holden
Lee Holdsworth, Team 18 Holden
Lee Holdsworth, Team 18 Holden
Lee Holdsworth, Team 18 Holden
Lee Holdsworth, Team 18 Holden
Lee Holdsworth, Team 18 Holden
Lee Holdsworth, Team 18 Holden

The Team 18 star fractured his pelvis and right knee at the Darwin circuit after being fired into a concrete wall last year, the injuries forcing him to the sidelines for the Townsville, Queensland Raceway, and Sydney Motorsport Park events before he made his comeback at the Sandown 500.

This weekend he’ll return to Hidden Valley for the first time since the crash, and while he conceded after the last outing at Winton that he’s expecting a few flashbacks, he’s confident it won’t affect his on-track performance.

“It’s something that… obviously going back there, the memories will come back,” he told Motorsport.com.

“But it certainly won’t affect me when I’m on track. It will be preparation as normal.

“When there’s nothing you can do about those things, there’s no point worrying about them. It was just one of those things.

“It’s in the back of my head, but I’m going up there to just do the best job that I can.

“I’ve made sure they’re addressing the problem on the track, and from what I’ve been told it won’t be a problem this year.”

The Holdsworth crash had indeed led to safety upgrades, with a 115 metre double-stacked tyre wall now situation along the concrete wall from the exit of Turn 1 to Turn 4.

According to the Northern Territory’s Department Of Tourism and Culture Facilities Development Officer of Sport and Recreation Errol Edwards, the decision to make the changes was swift given Holdsworth’s injuries.

“This year is the 20th year of the event at our venue, and in 20 years we’ve only had one accident in that location,” he said.

“Every time we have an incident, everything is reviewed and we try and put measures in place to prevent anything major happening. Unfortunately the first accident we had in that part of the track last year saw Lee Holdsworth sustain some physical injuries, not just car damage. So we seriously looked into it. When you have an incident like that, you need to an immediate reaction.

“The recommendation from CAMS was to put a tyre barrier along the full length of that wall, which is 115 metres – that’s a fair length, which is why we’re using 2500 tyres. It’s 1.2-metres high and two rows thick, tied together with conveyor belt.

“It’s all one continuous length, so it’s been a tough job to put it all together.”

 

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