The debut of the new NGTC Redstone Racing Ford Focus ST may have stolen the limelight at Snetterton but there was another excited debutant in the field as well.

Robb Holland’s first day in Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship action may not have grabbed the headlines but the American was pleased with the progress he made during a solid if unspectacular day’s work.

Driving the Team-HARD. Honda Civic for the first time in fully dry conditions was always going to pose a challenge to the experienced States racer but he insists race day will be more competitive.

Speaking to, he said: “We had some issues with handling in the morning but the team were able to sort it out. We’re picking up time in every session and that’s what’s important.

“Now it’s about me getting more comfortable in the car. It’s a completely different car but we’re not losing huge chunks of time – it’s just half a tenth here, a tenth there.”

Holland spent most of the qualifying session dicing – on the timesheets, for now – with his new boss Tony Gilham, who is also learning a new car in the form of Thorney Motorsport’s Vauxhall Insignia. And the new signing is enjoying the competition, even if it is over the lower positions on the grid for now.

“It is a lot of fun,” he said. “It’s nice to have him out there – he’s getting a bit of experience, I can learn from him and figure stuff out.

“We’ve got a good race pace, I ran a lot of laps close together. So we’ll see how the race plays out. I’m looking forward to the lights going out.”