The two Ford Focus cars campaigned in last year’s World Touring Car Championship by Arena have been acquired by Rotek Racing, who aim to enter them in the series later this year. American driver Robb Holland will be one of the drivers.
After a difficult first season in the WTCC in which they had just five top ten finishes, running under the Team Aon banner, Arena withdrew from the championship over the winter.
The cars have now been acquired by the new Rotek team from Capsicum, Arena’s parent company led by Grahame Chilton, father of drivers Tom and Max.
Rotek already run cars in the VLN endurance series at the Nurburgring, and it is from their facility there that the team will initially be based before moving to new purpose-built premises at Sonoma Raceway in the United States.
They will test and develop the cars before entering them later this season, “possibly in time for the late European rounds but certainly for the ‘fly away’ races in the Americas and Far East.”
Holland entered the Sonoma round of last year’s WTCC in a Bamboo Engineering Chevrolet in addition to some British championship races.
“Last season I became the first and to date the only American to race in the WTCC and so to be moving full-time into the series with an American team and an American manufacturer is very exciting,” said Holland.
“The guys at Rotek Racing have acquired two well-built cars from Arena and I can’t wait to get started on the extensive test program they have planned between now and our WTCC race debut together.
“The WTCC is packed with highlights but for me as an American, racing later this season, in September at home at Sonoma with an American team and manufacturer will be extra special.”
Rupert Swallow, Chilton Sr’s business partner at Capsicum, commented: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to pass the WTCC baton to Rotek Racing. On behalf of Capsicum I would like to wish them and driver Robb Holland every success when they take to the track later in the season.”
“I would also like to record Capsicum’s gratitude to Mike Earle and his team at Arena who have continued to work on the Focuses in difficult circumstances and have delivered two well-engineered and updated cars for Rotek Racing to develop further.”