Star Commodore Cup Graduate Returns to Preschool
21/04/2008 at 7:42:35 AM:

The most eagerly anticipated Commodore Cup kickoff in years has received a further boost today, with confirmation that star Commodore Cup graduate, V8 Supercar round-winner Lee Holdsworth, will make a one-off return to the series. “Lethal Lee” will campaign the TTM Traffic and Parking VS Commodore previously campaigned by his brother Brett, at Oran Park this weekend in the opening round of the series. Holdsworth, who has raced full-time for Garry Rogers Motorsport since 2006, won last year’s V8 Supercar round at Oran Park and is currently third in the 2008 V8 Supercar Championship.

“I can’t wait to race in Commodore Cup again,” Lee said. “Commodore Cup was the category that taught me about race-craft in a touring-car, and it was a great class in which to prepare for the Fujitsu Series, followed by the main-game V8 Supercar Series.

“I’ve never had a pole position, race-win or round-win in Commodore Cup, so there is some unfinished business for me. Oran Park was the circuit where I took my first V8 Supercar round-victory, so this weekend I’m hoping to make it the circuit where I take my first Commodore Cup round-victory! I’m also really looking forward to the challenge of the top-10 reverse-grid in the second race.”

Despite the spotlight being on the Holdsworth car this weekend, there will be some hungry drivers out in full-force to make sure the weekend is not a Lethal Lee fairytale. After contending for the 2007 Commodore Cup title in his ageing VH Commodore, Adam Lloyd comes into 2008 as one of the favourites. While he will start the season in his trusty VH, “Lloydy” is expected to debut his brand-new VS in the second round.

Regular Commodore Cup runner Denis Pana is back with vengeance after a tough couple of seasons. Pana has scored two major coups for 2008: Firstly, he will be sponsored by major Toyota dealership Lander Toyota (hence, his car will be rebadged as a Toyota Lexen). Secondly, he has secured the services of expert mechanic Jay Forrester to prepare his car.

Ross McGregor is coming off the back of a career-best 7th-place in the 2007 series, and will contest season 2008 in Geoff Emery’s 2007 title-winning car. McGregor’s team-mate Phil Menzel will also be looking to build on a successful season that saw him finish in the top-10 in his racing debut year.

Go-kart graduate Michael Tancredi made an explosive entrance to Commodore Cup last season, finishing fourth in his maiden race, and some thorough work on the car in the off-season should give Tancredi the machinery to contend for race-wins. Fellow karting graduate, 17-year-old Josh Hughes, will also be looking to impress.

This weekend’s event at Oran Park will give the Commodore Cup community the opportunity to farewell former Commodore Cup competitor Ashley Cooper, who was tragically killed in a high-speed crash during the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series in Adelaide in February. Cooper’s former Commodore Cup car will be on display this weekend, and the event will be themed as a tribute to the life of Ashley Cooper.
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