Wednesday, 19 March 2014

'I think we'll surprise a few people this year' - Robb Holland on his first full year in the BTCC

In 2012 Robb Holland became the first American ever to compete in the modern era of the British Touring Car Championship when he raced for Tony Gilham's outfit at Sentterton. 

After a further outing at Knockhill and a return to Snetterton in 2013, the Colorado racer is back for a full season in 2014, racing an NGTC Audi S3 Saloon for his own Rotek squad.

I caught up with him at the official BTCC media day at Donington Park to talk to him about the year ahead.
Dominik Wilde: You're the first American ever to compete in the British Touring Car Championship, that must be a cool feeling

Robb Holland: Yeah, I mean being the first American is awesome. You only get one chance to do that, it's very rare so to be able to come out and represent our country is pretty cool.

Dominik Wilde: Motorsport has got such a big culture in America so why BTCC?

Robb Holland: It's funny, I get asked that question all the time! What we look at British Touring Cars I think we see it differently to how you guys see it. There's series around the world that have elevated beyond as a national series. So if you look at DTM, Aussie V8, if you look at NASCAR those are all series that I think are very well known internationally and I think British Touring Cars is one of those series so to be able to come over here and compete with the best guys I think is really awesome.

Dominik Wilde: It's a big step as well coming in with your own team when it's a new thing, So why take such a big plunge?

Robb Holland: You've always got to reach for something so for us we've had the Rotek program for a couple of years now, we're based at the Nurburgring and we've been very successful over there. [We're] obviously new to the British Touring Car Championship but that's why I came here to run for a couple of years with Tony Gilham's team. So I've got experience here, it's not massive but I have a very good understanding of what the series is and what it wants and I think we'll surprise a few people this year.

Dominik Wilde: When will we see the car run for the first time?

Robb Holland: A couple of days. We were just going through our standard new car pre-checks so for us it was more we wanted to come here so that people knew that we were actually building something. But at the same point we always made the comment at the beginning of the season that we were doing to do it right and we weren't going to cut corners so you didn't want to get here and all of a sudden say 'all right, let's throw the car on track' just to make it run so people were here, they saw the quality of the car,  we'll do it the right way, we'll get it sorted out and we'll be out on Thursday.

Dominik Wilde: So what are your expectations for your first year then?

Robb Holland: Expectations are always reasonable. We're going to push as can. We've got a lot of development work to do and work learning the circuits but we definitely want to score points and it'll be great to be troubling the top 10 before the end of the season.

Dominik Wilde: Will we be seeing a second car later on in the year?

Robb Holland: That is a possibility. There are some things that we're working to make that happen, it's just everything has got to fall into place and make sense.

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