Rotek Racing’s Robb Holland says he is ready to return to British Touring Car Championship action this weekend as the series heads to Oulton Park.
The American, undertaking his first full season of BTCC racing, was forced to miss the previous round at Thruxton after a heavy crash between himself and United Autosport’s James Cole at Donington Park left him and his team without sufficient time to repair their Audi S3.
But with the car rebuilt and upgraded ahead of the visit to Cheshire, the 46-year-old was pleased with the work his Rotek team have been able to put in since the incident, and believed they can take a step forward from its pre-Donington pace, despite the fact that they have been unable to test the machine before this weekend.
“It feels like a long time since I’ve been in the car and I’ve been unable to get any testing in since Donington Park,” said Holland. “From the team’s standpoint, all of the car’s mechanicals are 100 per cent and the package is exactly where we wanted it to be initially. We had a choice of putting it back together the way it was or enhancing it.
“The bodywork wasn’t quite right, so we’ve cleaned that up and the car looks even better than it did before. In addition, we had some overheating issues and decided to improve the airflow through the front-end, which should give us more horsepower.”
Holland added that he was looking forward to taking on the circuit’s ‘International’ layout given its unique nature, but stressed that with the squad still finding their feet in the series, a points-paying position may still be out of reach.
“I should feel right at home at Oulton Park, because it looks challenging in the same ways as the Nürburgring Nordschleife, with a few blind crests and an abundance of elevation and camber changes,” said Holland. “Fast, flowing circuits suit me very well, but I think we might struggle a bit with the handling of the Audi S3 saloon, as we tend to suffer with high-speed instability and there are a lot of quick corners.
“Ideally, I’d like to take another step forward from where we was at Donington Park and hopefully move nearer to scoring our first points in the BTCC. However, the priority is to try a few new things, so we’ll be treating the weekend as an extended test.”