American driver Robb Holland had a baptism of fire in the BTCC, bringing out the only ‘Full-Course Caution’ of the weekend in race one, and picking up points in the second race on his debut at Snetterton.
Driving in the S2000-spec Team HARD Honda Civic, Holland qualified in 20th for his Championship debut, and was working his way up the order in the first race until he made contact with Adam Morgan’s recovering Toyota, which had spun out of fifth on the first lap and was trying to regain ground.
Morgan and Holland collided at Riches, with Morgan’s car careering off nose-first into the barriers and Holland’s car going off backwards and became stuck on the tyre barrier, which brought about a lengthy safety car period as the Honda was recovered.
“I think it was just a racing incident,” said Holland to TouringCarTimes. “I tried to hold him to the outside as you can’t pass around the outside at Turn 1, so my thought was to turn in a bit late, but one way or another we made contact – that definitely wasn’t anything intentional on either part.”
The stewards deemed Holland at fault for the incident and gave the 44-year-old American an official reprimand as well as two points on his racing licence.
After the team repaired the car for race two, things went much better with Holland picking up points with 14th place, but was suffering with a lack of grip early on, which Holland explains:
“We had made a mistake with the brake bias lever, which was full on full rear, which probably happened after the first shunt. So my rears went off first so the car got super-snappy loose, it was a bit of an adventure.”
Holland ended up in the gravel early on race one after contact from an unknown assailant. He would be able to continue on to finish 17th catching the pack late in the race but run out of time to make any passing manoeuvres.
“The third race I thought was going to be a good race, our pace had picked up, I’d gotten a better feel for the car and I think we had the pace over the cars in front of us, so we were really targeting 12th or maybe potentially top ten which would have been a great way to end the weekend,” said Holland. “But going into the hairpin it stacked up – and I knew it was coming I just didn’t know who it was going to be, and it turned out it was me.”
Holland was knocked into the gravel, and stalled the car. “I tried to cover the clutch, but unfortunately it slipped off and I stalled the motor, so I had to get it re-fired and get back. We were catching Foster, Neate and Hughes pretty steadily so there’s decent pace there.”
Holland is scheduled to race at the next round of the Championship at Knockhill, but no more rounds after that at the moment, though he doesn’t rule it out.
“It might be one or two more races, or none. The plan was always for 2013, so that’s the focus right now, though I’d love to race at Brands at the end of the year, it sounds like it’s a fun circuit, big crowd, I think that we would go very well there.”