Robb Holland and his Rotek Racing outfit will miss this weekend’s British Touring Car Championship event at Thruxton, with the damage to his car sustained at Donington too great to repair in time.
Holland was forced to curtail his racing two weeks ago after a high speed crash with James Cole – whose United Autosports Toyota Avensis was written off after the incident – and a shortage of parts means that the American will not be in action at the Hampshire circuit.
The 46-year-old laid no fault with his team however, having worked non-stop through the off-season to secure their place on the grid.
“The team should be really proud of themselves,” said Holland, speaking to 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.”
The squad have however been given dispensation by series organisers TOCA, with a ruling of ‘force majeure’ in the situation allowing the team to miss the round with no effect on their possession of a licence.
“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.
Cole will however be on track at Thruxton, after his team built a new Avensis in the space of eight days having been loaned a shell by Speedworks, with the 25-year-old having had the opportunity to shake down the car prior to this weekend’s action.
“I’ve shaken the car down and we’re ready to go,” saidd Cole. “We obviously have to say thank you to Tony Hughes and everyone at Speedworks for loaning us the shell, but I have to also congratulate all at United Autosports for the incredible effort put in.
“When I first saw the car after the accident I knew it was bad. It was actually worse than that – it was totally wrecked – but we got straight to work after receiving the new shell. I knew that if anyone could do it United Autosports could and they’ve worked tirelessly ever since. It’s actually a phenomenal and ridiculous achievement when you consider the normal lead-time to build a car. Practically everything on the car is new and the guys have done it all in less than ten days – it’s absolutely remarkable.”