‘Old school’ racing seduces Bathurst 1000 winner

Think NASCAR crossed with V8 Supercars and that’s Turtle Wax National Trans Am.

It’s the new racing series that has captured the attention of 2021 Bathurst 1000 winner Lee Holdsworth.

The veteran of 16 seasons in Supercars is at a crossroads, appearing unlikely to make a full-time return to the championship with Grove Racing next year.

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With Kiwi hot shot Matthew Payne primed to take the reins of the #10 Ford Mustang, Holdsworth might have to look elsewhere for a drive.

If not in Supercars, then the Trans Am Series could be just the right fit for him.

Recently, Holdsworth drove his older brother’s Chevrolet Camaro ahead of the next Speed ​​Series round at Queensland Raceway on August 5-7.

“I’ve had a couple of steers of Brett’s Trans Am and absolutely loved it,” Holdsworth told the Parked Up Podcast.

“It’s the most fun thing. It just brings you back to that old school driving.

“You really got to pick it up and manhandle it. You’re always sliding in some way, even under brakes you’re fighting the thing, and then on throttle, you’re always crossed up.”

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What sets Trans Am apart from other series like Supercars is the ability to race door-to-door for laps on end.

Supercars drivers have suffered with a peaky tire, one which has a small operating temperature window to get the most out of the rubber.

Trans Am, however, uses a tire that allows for plenty of sliding without taking the life out of the rubber.

Hot lap of Sydney Motorsport Park with TCR’s Luke King

“The thing I like about it is the tire is very forgiving,” said Holdsworth.

“The car is quite forgiving, so that’s why you can hang the rear out on exits and on entries, and you don’t actually lose lap time, it’s actually the way you drive it.

“Whereas, in a Supercar, if you’ve got any loss of traction, whether it be laterally or longitudinally, you’re losing time which can be a bit frustrating.”

“I think Trans Am just brings it back to that old-school nature of racing and really what everyone loves to see. So I think it’s got a great following because of that.”

Trans Am racing across Australia is booming.

Across the national- and state-level competitions, grids are consistently towards 30 cars featuring the Ford Mustang, Dodge Challenge, and Camaro.

“I think there’s 70, and there’s a ton on order as well,” Brett Holdsworth said.

“The delivery times on these cars is huge, like most things at the moment. I think there’s another 15 or 20 on order or something that have already got names on them.

“It’s just growing and growing. People love it. People ask me about it all the time. They want to know more about the Trans Ams, they want to see them.

“Mate, they’re cool, who could not like them? They sound unreal, great racing, bang doors, but not sort of crazy stuff where everyone is binning their cars every round. It’s just good, solid racing.”

The Trans Am Series will feature at the upcoming Speed ​​Series round at Queensland Raceway on August 5-7.

The Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series will headline proceedings with support classes including Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS, Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge, GC Marine Australian Prototype Series, Australian Production Cars, and Radical Australia Cup.

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