United Autosports have completed the rebuild of James Cole’s Toyota Avensis for this weekend’s British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) season finale at Brands Hatch, after his car was heavily damaged in a collision with Robb Holland at Silverstone.
The Anglo-American team were faced with having to repair numerous parts of the car after the accident on the opening lap of the final race last time out.
Repairs have been carried out to the roll cage, seat mounts, B-post, sills, rear quarter panel and both right-hand doors. It is the second big crash Cole has been involved in with Holland this season, after the duo came together at Donington Park in April.
“It was touch and go whether my car would be repaired in time for the final races of the season but the team have done a phenomenal job in getting it turned around so quickly,” said Cole. “It was a massive hit that my Toyota took in the final Silverstone race.”
Cole admits that he is hoping for unpredictability this weekend in order to help him finish his second season in the BTCC on a high.
“Apart from the accident, there were so many positives to take from Silverstone into Brands. The ‘Grand Prix’ track is a classic. Fast, flowing and very challenging with no room for error. Add in some possible unpredictable October weather into the mix and there is a great recipe for some end of year upsets!”
Reflecting on what has been a challenging first year in the BTCC for the team, United Autosports Managing Director Richard Dean concedes that there have been many learning experiences over the course of the year.
“We have had a tough start to our BTCC campaign,” said Dean. “It hasn’t been an easy year, but we have battled on and learnt more about the cars and the championship as the year went on. Even though there have been negative points this season, there have also been positive ones we can take away and work on for 2015.
“Obviously, James’ crash at Silverstone has meant a lot of work has gone into getting the car ready for Brands Hatch but we are looking forward to the weekend. We don’t have anything to lose so Luke [Hines], James and the whole team are going to give it our all to finish the year on a good note.”
Hines continues with the team at Brands Hatch this weekend, having made a return to touring cars last time out to replace Scot Glynn Geddie.
“I’ve had some good results at Brands and won my first touring car race there. It’s one of my favourite circuits,” said Hines. “After a productive weekend at Silverstone, I think we can make a step forward with the Toyota at Brands. There’s a lot of potential in the Avensis and I’m pretty confident that we could collect some points which would be good reward for the team who have put a lot of hard work in to the new project this year.”