Lee Holdsworths V8 Supercar race was over before it even begun in Townsville today.
Having qualified in a lowly 17th place, the IRWIN Tools driver got caught up in an incident before the third corner, which resulted in significant damage to the car.
Making his way back to pit lane with Michael Carusos rear diffuser jammed into the IRWIN Fords front bar, the team replaced the tyres and realised there was work to do before Holdsworth was able to return to the race.
Replacing the front bar, the crew worked to re-attach the bonnet, which was a challenge with all the pins missing. Some swift panel beating and a wheel of race tape later, Holdsworth was given the green light by race officials to resume racing.
Racing 10 laps down, Holdsworth ran the race as if he was still in contention, but did limited laps on the faster soft option tyre, ensuring he had soft tyres with life in them for future practice and testing.
The disappointing result saw Holdsworth drop one spot to seventh in the V8 Supercars championship.
The series continues at Queensland Raceway in Ipswich, August 3-5.
What IRWIN Racings Lee Holdsworth had to say:
I got quite a good start, went down the inside of turn two and there was a bit of carnage there. Everyone slowed up, a few went around the outside of me so I lost a few position there. Coming up to turn three, again I was on the inside, it was like a traffic jam. Sladey was in front of me, Ive locked up, hit him, then someone hit me lifting me right off the ground and turned me sideways into Michael Caruso. That's what did the damage. I was actually lucky to get away with the damage we did. The boys did a fantastic job to get me back out there to salvage some points. It was a tough day for IRWIN Racing, but well fight back. You expect days like this every now and then, let's hope it doesnt happen again.
What IRWIN Racings engineer Brad Wischusen had to say:
It didnt help that we qualified back were we did. We came here with a few development parts that we only got on top of in that last race. We still had some really good pace when we went back out a few laps down though. It's pretty positive coming away with some data from that. A disappointing day, but we got something good out of it.
2012 V8 Supercars Championship after 15 of 29 races
1. Jamie Whincup 1794 points
2. Mark Winterbottom 1694
3. Will Davison 1654
4. Craig Lowndes 1496
5. Shane van Gisbergen 1280
6. Garth Tander 1239
7. Lee Holdsworth 1190
8. Tim Slade 1170
9. Fabian Coulthard 1030
10. David Reynolds 951
V8 Supercars: Sucrogen Townsville 400 Race 15 Results
1. #1 Jamie Whincup 72 Laps
2. #888 Craig Lowndes
3. #6 Will Davison
4. #2 Garth Tander
5. #5 Mark Winterbottom
6. #55 David Reynolds
7. #9 Shane van Gisbergen
8. #19 Jonathan Webb
9 #91 Michael Patrizi
10. #8 Jason Bright
26. #4 Lee Holdsworth
V8 Supercars: Sucrogen Townsville 400 Race 15 Qualifying Results
1. #55 David Reynolds 1:12.5817
2. #5 Mark Winterbottom 1:12.6499
3. #6 Will Davison 1:12.7129
4. #49 Steve Owen 1:12.7700
5. #888 Craig Lowndes 1:12.7765
6. #22 James Courtney 1:12.8358
7. #19 Jonathan Webb 1:12.8636
8. #14 Fabian Coulthard 1:12.8977
9. #1 Jamie Whincup 1:12.9316
10. #91 Michael Patrizi 1:12.9435
17. #4 Lee Holdsworth 1:13.1529