Andy Neate‘s self-run British Touring Car Championship team IP Tech Race Engineering will field two cars in 2013 – but will miss the season opener at Brands Hatch.
Neate, who left the works MG squad after just one season to set up the new outfit, confirmed the team will have a second NGTC Chevrolet Cruze out for the second part of the campaign.
However, after missing pre-season testing in each of his three BTCC seasons to date, he has made the decision to skip the curtain-raiser at start at Donington Park.
“We said from the beginning that this was a long-term project and the objective was to be competitive against the best in the business,” he said. “Starting on the back foot is no way to achieve that ambition.
“We have secured an additional registration for the championship and that car is due to be finished for the second part of the season. Needless to say, we’ve got to get everything right from the start.
“It’s very disappointing that we’ve had to take the decision to miss the first race meeting but with all the challenges we’ve faced so far, it’s absolutely the right thing to do. Arriving at Brands next week without any testing in a brand new car, with a new engine developed specifically for us, would be foolish.”
The project has been a huge task and despite having assembled something of a crack squad things have not gone entirely to plan.
“Putting together something like this is a huge undertaking and at no point have we underestimated the work involved,” he added. “However, there is a massive reliance on a large number of elements coming together at each carefully planned stage in the development.
“For various reasons, that simply hasn’t happened as we’d intended, which inevitably holds the whole process up. The knock-on effect is that we’ve missed critical deadlines in our project and we’re not prepared to cut corners at this stage.”