Andy Neate‘s hotly-anticipated IP Tech Race team’s BTCC debut at Oulton park has been forced into postponement after an issue picked up in the car’s initial test, the team now expecting to debut at Croft on June 22-23.
The news comes after the former BMW, Ford and MG driver finalised preparations of his new Independent squad’s NGTC-specification Chevrolet Cruze machine, Neate’s car having been unveiled in its final livery on Thursday wearing the sponsorship of Marshall Amps before the squad prepared for a test prior to the trip to Cheshire this weekend.
However, IP were forced to cancel a planned shakedown for the car to attempt to fix an 11th hour problem on Friday afternoon, and Neate has now taken the decision to postpone the car’s race debut until the next event at Croft circuit to allow the car to be completely race-ready, confident that the issues will be conquered by the fifth round in June.
“The guys back at the IP Tech base have worked tirelessly over the past two weeks to prepare for Oulton Park, with many shifts going through dusk to sunrise”, said Neate in a press statement on Friday following his initial test of the new car.
“The hold ups until now have mainly been financial ones, those associated with setting up an entirely new team from scratch. However, we have thankfully weathered that storm and we are coming out the other side with the help of our sponsors and supporters. However with all the immense effort that has gone in over the past couple of weeks in particular, a final technical problem was thrown onto the mix to try us at the eleventh hour.
“With the assistance of some fantastic people, we managed to fix the issue. However, it has all happened a bit too late to allow us to partake in the bare minimum amount of testing we had scheduled. Effectively we would have had to shakedown and test on the day preceding free practice on Saturday at Oulton Park.
“The car is now finished and is ready to receive the modified components. However I have always maintained I will not test at a race weekend. I am sticking to my guns and this will not change.”
Neate’s debut, which was initially delayed before the start of the season to complete the new car, is therefore now being pushed to the fifth round of the championship at Croft later this month, although fans will get the chance to see a glimpse of the eagery-anticipated machine on display at Oulton Park this weekend.
“With this said, and the false dawns to date, we are keen for all our followers and fans to see one of the most anticipated new NGTC race cars of the year. As a result, the finished IP Tech Race Engineering Cruze will be on display for all to see this weekend at Oulton Park with the kind blessing of TOCA.
“Although I am disappointed that I will not line up on my favourite circuit on the calendar, the weekend will still be dedicated to my friend Les Hayes.”