Rotek Racing to miss Thruxton
Robb Holland will not contest rounds 7, 8 and 9 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Thruxton this weekend (3/4 May) due to the damage caused to his car in the recent high-speed accident at Donington Park.
Rotek Racing produced the world’s first ever Audi S3 Saloon in racing trim for its 2014 BTCC assault, and the striking blue machine has turned heads ever since it was unveiled at the Season Launch event at Donington in March.
Unfortunately the squad’s next visit to the Leicestershire circuit didn’t prove so kind after contact with the Toyota Avensis of James Cole fired both cars off into the barrier. United Autosports were able to source a new Avensis shell immediately (separate story coming soon), whilst Rotek had the difficulty of quickly sourcing parts for a model that was only launched globally by Audi this spring.
“The team should be really proud of themselves,” Holland told btcc.net. “They worked at 100mph and had many sleepless nights just to get the car ready for round one at Brands Hatch and it has run perfectly from lap one. We made a collective decision not to overload on spares until finalising our planned upgrades programme after Thruxton, so the timing of the accident makes things really difficult to take.
“It was a racing incident – two seconds earlier or later and it would never have happened but that’s racing of course. We thought we’d be able to turn it around quite quickly but the damage was worse than we first thought and then parts and timing immediately became an issue. We’re all really disappointed to miss Thruxton but it’s just one of those things and we need to focus on the positives and that’s working on the upgrades and our planned test programme prior to Oulton Park.”
Holland was talking to btcc.net from Germany where the team has today sourced new parts ready for its repair and ongoing development, but it was realistically too late to turn fortunes around ahead of Thruxton.
As a TOCA BTCC Licence (TBL) holder, Rotek Racing and all entries are obliged to contest all BTCC events unless in cases of force majeure. Organiser TOCA has confirmed ‘force majeure’ in this instance and the team will not face any penalty.
“It’s just one of those things and we’ve explained the damage found after the event, plus the subsequent lead-time in trying to source parts, particularly with there being just one weekend between the rounds at Donington and Thruxton,” continued Holland.
Far from having his spirits dampened by the incident Holland has enjoyed the opening two events of the season and is fully focused on a long-term future in the BTCC.
“It’s incredibly competitive,” concluded Robb. “We’ve produced a car that would’ve been battling immediately in the top ten a few years back but with less than a second separating more than 20 cars at Brands it just shows how tough it is. It’s amazing racing all the way through the order and not an inch is given regardless of what position you’re battling for. That’s why we all love the BTCC and I only see the guys near the back getting closer to the guys at top so it’s not going to get any less competitive. I can’t wait to get back out there for Oulton and continuing our committed programme in the BTCC.”