Lee Holdsworth’s racing life started when he climbed into a go-kart at the age of six, and eventually progressed to a highly successful professional car racing career. Racing for Holden, this year is his 10th in the V8 Supercars Championship. He started at BGS in 1996 and graduated in 2000.
How did you first hear about Brisbane Grammar School and what made you want to go there?
I was enrolled into Trinity Grammar in Melbourne from the time I was about two years old. When my family moved to Brisbane in 1989 we were able to enrol at BGS. We lived in Milton where my brother Brett, also a BGS Old Boy, and I did our primary school education at Milton State School.
Do you remember your time fondly at BGS? My time at BGS were some of the best years of my life. I enjoyed sport and gained a group of friends who are still some of my closest mates to this day. My love for rugby union started in Year 8, and I went on to play for another eight years, continuing on through club rugby at Wests Toowong after leaving school.
You started in go-karts before moving into cars, did you know this was what you wanted to do during you time at BGS? I knew I wanted to race cars professionally from the time I started go-karting at six years old. The only other thing I ever put as much commitment into was rugby.
You are great at what you do, but you would probably be willing to admit you haven’t followed the path of the average Aussie schoolboy. How did you find yourself pursuing a career in racing?
It’s a totally different career path to the average Aussie schoolboy. I certainly didn’t meet anyone else at BGS with aspirations to become a V8 Supercar driver. My father was the one that introduced me to the sport. Starting at about four years old, he used to take me and my brother to Bathurst to watch the biggest race in Australia. Racing drivers like Peter Brock, Dick Johnson, and Larry Perkins became my heroes. So when my father bought us a go-kart at six years old that was all I needed to start chasing my dream.
Did you have any other extracurricular interests at BGS? As I said I was a mad keen rugby player, but also enjoyed playing water polo, and athletics. It was always tough trying to coordinate other sports into my weekend when racing was the priority.
Do you think BGS prepared you as both a person and academically to graduate? Absolutely. I think the most important thing in school is to be surrounded by people with good values and morals. No doubt it helped shaped my personality and attitude. I now have a two year old daughter and would love to see her have the same opportunities I had with my schooling.
What are your short term and long term aims? My short term aim is to win the V8 Supercars Championship and Bathurst 1000. My long term aim is to start a business in educating young drivers in defensive driving. Too many young drivers are uneducated in controlling a car in dangerous situations.
What should people know about BGS that they may not? I was always amazed it was never mentioned that Dick Johnson went to BGS too. I’m not sure how long he went there but it was a something that inspired me.