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The beer that helped Holdsworth win the Bathurst 1000

Lee Holdsworth has detailed a moment of spiritual healing with Mount Panorama, beer in hand, that helped him make peace with the Mountain Gods.

Chaz Mostert and Lee Holdsworth, Walkinshaw Andretti United

Mark Horsburgh, Edge Photographics

The likeable 38-year-old achieved a lifelong dream on Sunday evening when, after 18 starts, he finally conquered the Mountain.

He and Chaz Mostert combined for a devastating Bathurst 1000 win aboard the lead Walkinshaw Andretti United Holden, the pair untouchable across the 161-lap journey.

The near-flawless outing was a long time coming for Holdsworth, who had very little in the way of good fortune at Mount Panorama in the early part of his career.

He failed to finish his first two Bathurst 1000s in 2004 and 2005 and was last of the classified finishers in 2006.

Two more DNFs followed in 2007 and 2008 while appearances in the Bathurst 12 Hour in 2008 and 2009 also yielded DNFs.

The 2009 Bathurst 12 Hour failure, which came when the Holden Astra he was sharing with brother Brett Holdsworth, father Glen Holdsworth and Taz Douglas crashed out of the race, prompted the then-Garry Rogers Motorsport driver to make peace with Mount Panorama.

He did so by heading to the top during the second half of the race and pouring some beer into a whole dug into the Mountain soil.

"I thought, 'this place has got something against me, because there's always something that puts me out of the race," Holdsworth told the Parked Up podcast this week.

"Whether its an engine or a co-driver or... there was just so many things that hurt my chance of a result there.

"I thought, 'I've got to make peace with the Mountain'. So I went up to the top, I took a beer up with me, dug a little hole and prayed to the Mountain.

"I said, 'please, let's be friends from now on. We can do this'. Then I had a little of beer, said, 'cheers' to the Mountain, gave him a little sip and away I went.

"Thirteen or so years later he's finally forgiven me. I guess maybe that beer has finally seeped all the way to the bottom of the Mountain now.

"I'm not a spiritual sort of person, but if there's anywhere where you feel the need to speak to the Mountain or the ground, it's [Mount Panorama].

"You feel like there's Mountain Gods and they've decided the race win before you've even got there. It's pretty special for them to choose myself and Chaz this year."

Holdsworth's Bathurst triumph came in his first year outside of a full-time seat, his stay at Tickford Racing having come to an unexpected end in 2020.

Chaz Mostert, Lee Holdsworth, Walkinshaw Andretti United

Chaz Mostert, Lee Holdsworth, Walkinshaw Andretti United

Photo by: Edge Photographics

With a Bathurst 1000 win now ticked off his bucket list, Holdsworth says he's open to a full-time return if the opportunity presents itself.

“I think we’ve ticked this one off the list now,” he said. “I wouldn’t mind getting back into full-time driving but obviously [I] realise I’m at the end of my career.

“I would love to jump in a full-time seat next year but I wouldn’t be holding my breath.”

As it stands there is only one unresolved seat on the 2022 Supercars grid – the #7 at Kelly Grove Racing.

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Matt Payne was the favourite for that seat, however the teenager is now thought to be very unlikely to be given a Superlicence dispensation from Motorsport Australia.

That means KGR is set to need to put someone on a single-year deal while Payne gains experience in Super2.

Zane Goddard has been rumoured to be in contention for the drive, while Holdsworth may also be a neat option for the Ford team.

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