2012 FIA World Touring Car champion Rob Huff will lead the Rotek Racing team at this weekends United States Air Force (USAF) National Auto Sport Association (NASA) 25 Hours of Thunderhill as the California and Nurburgring based team aim to give Audi its first victory in America’s longest race.
“The 25 Hours of Thunderhill is a tough challenge for a multitude of reasons, but we will have to endure,” said Huff. “The size of the field and the variety of entrants will no doubt create a lot of traffic and, while having a reliable car is always one of the chief objectives, an ability to maintain high levels of concentration over a prolonged period is essential.”
The British driver joined the Rotek team for a – truncated – run in their Audi TTRS in at VLN Championship race on the Nurburgring Nordschleife. Though he has driven in a number of endurance events including the 12 hour races at Spa-Francorchamps and Bathurst and the Britcar 24 Hours at Silverstone this will be Huff’s first attempt at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill.
He will share the TTRS – entered in the ES Class of the races – with four American drivers who each bring their own experience to the event.
Roland Pritzker and Robb Holland were part of the 034 Motorsport line-up for last year’s race in another Audi TTRS, and seemed on course for victory until a mechanical failure took them out of the race. Holland, has joined Huff on the WTCC grid for selected races in recent seasons, becoming the first American to race in the championship as well as racing in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC).
“Why Thunderhill?” Holland questions. “Because it’s the longest endurance race in America, it has become a bit of a grudge match between the regular top teams, it’s a nice way of ending the season and we’ve been looking to win it for some time. This year is all about being as or more competitive as last year and, considering Roland and I led the race in 2012, we have to target the victory.”
The Rotek Racing team is completed by Jeff Altenburg, Kevin Gleason, both men bringing experience of racing in US championships including the Pirelli World Challenge, Continental Tires Sports Car Challenge and American Le Mans Series.
“With such a high-calibre driver line-up and the Audi TTRS, we should be very competitive,” said Holland. “The car should be quicker than most of the GT3 cars over the course of a lap. There aren’t many long straights and the TTRS’s aero will take over, but its small-block 2.5litre TFSI engine’s low fuel consumption means we can also go longer between stops. With a few double stints, we should be in good shape.”