Robb Holland will make his first visit to Croft for the British Touring Car Championship this weekend, with the Rotek Racing driver hoping to leave the Yorkshire circuit with an undamaged car to allow for Summer development to take place.
Holland has had a busy week in the run-up to the meeting which marks the half-way point in the season with the American having competed in the 24-hour race around the famous Nürburgring Nordschleife at the weekend.
Fortunes did not favour the 46-year-old in Germany last weekend, however, as engine issues for the team’s Audi TTRS halted their efforts in the early hours of Sunday morning.
In the BTCC, Holland has also had a mixed season thus far, securing a best finish of just 20th in the season-opening meeting at Brands Hatch. Holland had been on course for his first points of the year last time out, before contact with another competitor in the third race of the day ended his hopes at Oulton Park.
“In all honesty, I know nothing about Croft Circuit, but I’ll go into free practice having done some simulator work in the UK and, from watching video footage, it looks to be a very interesting and exciting track,” explained Holland of his approach to this weekend’s event. The Denver-born racer is hoping for a trouble-free weekend to allow for further development of his Audi S3 over the summer.
“The goal here is to go into the mid-season break without damage and then get some testing done. I’d be happy if I crept into the top 16 because of the setbacks we had at start of season. We always knew it would be a tough fight and the team is still on maximum attack.
“The Audi S3 saloon definitely felt better as the Oulton Park weekend progressed and I raced as high as 12th before being taken out, which gives me confidence in the changes that Rotek Racing made to the car. The alterations were counterintuitive to what we would normally do, but we decided to experiment and it seemed to work out.”
Although Holland has never previously raced on the North Yorkshire circuit, he is confident that his lack of experience will not hinder him too much in comparison with previous meetings where he has also had a lack of prior knowledge.
“This weekend is no different to the previous three, in that I’ve always had to learn my way around a new circuit,” admitted Holland. “In addition, the team has come away from each race meeting with crash damage to repair, after being on the receiving end of contact, which has forced the cancellation of several tests where we would normally make all the necessary adjustments to the Audi S3 saloon.
“Instead, we have to learn each track while fettling the car’s setup during free practice on a Saturday, using the entire race weekends as tests with the view of making the car better in the long-term.”
Holland heads into this weekend’s meeting equal 25th in the championship, having yet to score any points.