American team Rotek Racing are to return the Ford name to the World Touring Car Championship later this season, with Robb Holland set to get behind the wheel in the all-American team.
The team have purchased the former Arena Motorsport Ford Focus’ which were campaigned during the 2012 season before Arena discontinued its operations over the winter. The plan is for the team to test and develop the two cars over the coming month,s before joining the series in time for the North American and Asian rounds of the championship, although there is also a possibility that the team could make some of the late European rounds in June.
The team will initially be based from a facility near the Nürburgring in Germany, before moving to a facility near Sonoma Raceway in the United States to become the WTCC’s first fully-American team.
Holland, who made his WTCC début for bamboo-engineering in 2012 at the Sonoma event, will be the team’s lead driver and is expected to be joined in the second car by another driver of American nationality.
“Last season I became the first and to date the only American to race in the WTCC and so to be moving full-time into the series with an American team and an American manufacturer is very exciting,” said Holland. “The guys at Rotek Racing have acquired two well-built cars from Arena and I can’t wait to get started on the extensive test program they have planned between now and our WTCC race debut together.”
The cars are undergoing upgrades to bring them in line with the 2013 WTCC specifications, although it has not been confirmed if they will receive further upgrades when the 2014 rules come into effect next season.