By Kris Hansen
The Oakley Motorsports-backed Rotek Racing team is set for its maiden full-time campaign in the 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) with a sole NGTC-spec Audi S3 saloon.
The BTCC – Britain’s premier motor racing championship – is experiencing something of a renaissance. For more than half a century it has inspired great motor sporting feats and captivated millions of fan and it continues to soar in popularity, providing spectators with door handle-to-door handle racing action and unparalleled access to its star drivers and cars.
Each year the championship embarks on a tour of the UK’s greatest motorsport venues, including Brands Hatch, Donington Park and Silverstone, and attracts bumper trackside crowds of between 30-40,000 spectators, with a TV audience of approximately 20million tuning in to ITV Sport’s comprehensive live coverage.
Rotek Racing, which boasts support from Audi Customer Racing and prestigious backing from the motorsports division of iconic American brand, Oakley, will be led by tin-top star Robb Holland – the first American to contest rounds of the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) whose sporadic appearances in the Dunlop-backed BTCC have now heralded a full campaign with a brand new NGTC-spec Audi S3 in 2014.
The S3 is the fourth addition to Rotek’s stable and its family of Audi racing opportunities around the world. The team will continue to run its 25 Hours of Thunderhill-winning TTRS, an R8 LMS in some of the finest international endurance races and an RS4 in the German VLN Endurance Championship on the infamous Nurburgring Nordschleife.
“Being the first American full-time entry in the BTCC is a huge achievement for both myself and Rotek Racing,” said Rotek Racing driver, Holland. “This is the culmination of several years of hard work and, because the BTCC is what got me into racing in the first place, joining as a full-time entrant is definitely a dream come true
“The BTCC rounds I’ve contested to this point were all done with the view of understanding what the series is about and what it will take for us to be successful in it. We still have a huge amount of hard work to do to make the grid at Brands Hatch and 2014 will definitely be a learning year.
Holland continued: “Trying to build a new car and develop it with very little testing is a tall ask for anyone and there are still many tracks for me to learn. That being said, I’m really looking forward to running the Audi S3 saloon. I think it will be a good fit – from a marketing perspective it’s great to be running the S3 at this time. Audi has just launched the car and, as the first of the new generation S3s to race anywhere in the world, I’m really hoping that it will attract a lot of attention from Audi fans across the globe.
“I’m also really glad to have the support of Oakley Motorsports Europe with this effort. Oakley Motorsports sees the BTCC as the perfect high visibility platform to launch their line of motorsports gear here in the UK and across Europe.”
With this in mind, Oakley Motorsports and Rotek Racing is inviting fans to select its car’s 2014 livery from 12 artist’s impressions as part of a fab competition on the official BTCC website and Facebook page, details of which will be released early next week.