20 DEC 2018
Holdsworth the wait - Lee to drive The Bottle-O Mustang
Tickford Racing has signed Lee Holdsworth to drive the No. 5 Mustang in the 2019 Supercars season, and The Bottle-O has renewed its continuing relationship to retain its status of naming rights partner on the iconic Tickford Racing entry.
The 2019 season will be The Bottle-O's 13th year as a partner of the RNR/Tickford Racing entry, equating to 182 rounds and 389 races in which The Bottle-O brand has been a part of the Supercars Championship.
Holdsworth joins the team entering his 14th season of full-time Supercars competition, with 417 race starts to his credit making him one of the most experienced drivers in pit lane.
Rod Pritchard, CEO of The Bottle-O, is pleased to see the independent retail liquor store back aboard Car 5, which will make its debut as a Ford Mustang in February. Pritchard is also looking forward to seeing The Bottle-O Racing's newest employee hit the track.
"We're excited to continue our partnership with Tickford Racing, and we are happy to have Lee in The Bottle-O Racing Team Mustang in 2019," Pritchard said. "We've enjoyed a tremendous partnership with the team over the years, and we believe Lee will make an excellent driver and ambassador for both the team and The Bottle-O brand. We're excited to see him and The Bottle-O Mustang achieve great results in 2019."
The Melbourne-native Holdsworth comes to Tickford after an underwhelming 2018 season, however the 35-year old posted his season-best start and finish results across the final round of the year on the streets of Newcastle in late November. Holdsworth, like Tickford Racing, enters 2019 eager to put everything into the new Mustang Project which has been backed by Ford Australia & Ford Performance globally.
"I'm pumped to be teaming up with Tickford Racing and The Bottle-O," Holdsworth said. "Even though they feel they had a tough year, I believe Tickford Racing is still one of the best teams in the paddock. I'm feeling fit and driving as well as ever, so I'm ready to show what I've got. It's exciting to have the support of The Bottle-O, and I look forward to rewarding them with a great 2019 season."
Team co-owner, Rod Nash, expressed his gratitude to The Bottle-O, which joined Rod Nash Racing in 2007, and has been a naming rights partner on a Tickford-prepared Ford since 2010, when RNR aligned with the Campbellfield-based team.
"It's not very often you have a sponsor this deeply involved for this period of time," Nash said. "We're very fortunate to have The Bottle-O's remarkable support, we've all worked together well over the 12 years to date in maximising the leveraging of the iconic Green The Bottle-O branded Supercar, and are very happy to see it continuing in 2019. We've created a great relationship over the years, and we all look forward to celebrating more success together at and away from the track."
Tickford Racing CEO and team principal, Tim Edwards, is delighted with the team's new recruit and what he believes Holdsworth can bring to the four-car operation.
"We're rapt to be continuing with The Bottle-O into 2019, and obviously we're very pleased that Lee will be driving the new Ford Mustang," Edwards said. "He's the right man for the job. He's a good driver, a good bloke, a good fit with The Bottle-O, and we believe he will bring us great results on and off the track. He's got something to prove in 2019, as do we. We like that he's bullish about the coming year, and we're excited to get him on track."
The addition of Holdsworth completes Tickford Racing's 2019 driver line-up, with Lee competing alongside Cameron Waters and Chaz Mostert, as well as the 23Red Racing entry, running as a customer of Tickford Racing and piloted by Will Davison. Turning 36 in early February, Holdsworth will receive a belated birthday present in the form of the No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Mustang Supercar, in which he will turn his first laps in early 2019 as the team prepares for the season opening Adelaide 500, February 28 – March 3.