CQ man will partner V8 Supercar driver in Bathurst Classic
IAN Mundell's love of HQ Holdens steps up a gear this weekend when he partners V8 Supercar driver Lee Holdsworth in the 2014 Kenda HQ Endurance Bathurst Classic.
Mundell, a heavy machinery contractor who lives in Westwood, 45km west of Rockhampton, loads up his truck today for the 16-hour journey tomorrow to Australia's spiritual home of racing, Bathurst, for Friday's qualifying rounds.
Mundell was originally slated to partner Holdsworth's father Glen in the driver's seat of the 1972 HQ Holden for the two races.
While it didn't pan out as planned, Mundell was thrilled to be working alongside a driver of Holdsworth's calibre.
"Glen was going to drive originally, but he can't anymore so his son Lee has stepped in," Mundell said.
"Gary Bonwick - he's very good, there's his nephew Jamie Furness - he's very good too and there's a few others that are very good.
Holdsworth races for the Erebus Motorsport team and has been driving in the V8 Supercar Championship Series since 2005.
"I'm looking very much forward to driving with Lee," Mundell said.
"He'll be driving very quick and I'll be trying to get as much (advice) out of him as I can.
"We should be frontrunners but there's going to be some good drivers down there.
"It's just about being there and performing when it counts."
A fan of the HQ Holden since it's introduction in 1972, Mundell is racing a mint condition black and gold 1972 model and has three other HQ Holdens in his Ironfarmers shed alongside it.
Partnering a V8 Supercars driver aside, Mundell has another reason to set himself apart from the other drivers.
"I'm the only person racing one that I can find that bought one brand new," said the former HQ Racing Association of Queensland president, who bought a V8 Zodiac Blue 253 four-speed manual with all the extras for about $4100 in early 1973.
Mundell has taken to Bathurst's Mount Panorama not often enough, last competing in the annual race in 2008.
"I've been wanting to get back every year but something stopped me. But I was determined to get back down there this year and give it a go. It's such an accessible class. It (the HQ) has never been outsold as a model. There's a lot of guys who would not be able to afford to race if it wasn't for the HQ Holdens."
Now 68, Mundell said he had thought about hanging up the racing gear once and for all, but was eager to have one more drive with Holdsworth Snr.
"This year was going to be the last, but with Glen not being able to race this year, we've said we'll have to race together again next year," Mundell said.