Following their big accident in Donington Park’s second British Touring Car Championship race on Sunday, Robb Holland and James Cole both assessed the incident that left the pair sore, and with wrecked race cars before the third round at Thruxton in two weeks’ time.
Emerging bruised, but thankfully unscathed, the pair were caught in the aftermath of an incident at Hollywood during the opening laps of the race following a safety car interference, collecting one another evading the spinning Audi of Rob Austin and suffering heavy impacts with the concrete wall on the outside.
Holland’s new-for-2014 Rotek Racing Audi S3 Saloon suffered significant damage to its front end, while Cole says his United Autosports Toyota Avensis be even a write-off in the impact that also left the concrete wall worse for wear.
A beaten up Holland commented to The Checkered Flag on what he felt was an unfortunate racing incident, saying: “I’m very sore! So in the morning I’ll be even sorer, but I’m OK.
“I could see Rob Austin go off, and what happened was when he came back on we were side-by-side, and all of a sudden James [Cole] had to swerve to avoid Rob coming back on, then all of a sudden he came across and there was nothing I could do.
“I think we’ll have to take a look at it and see what the standards are for drivers re-entering the track. The weather hasn’t helped; the spray was really difficult to see through, so it was a combination of factors.”
Holland also assessed the damage of his Audi to TCF, saying: “It’s pretty bad. Everything from the engine forward is pretty much gone, and we don’t know if the engine or gearbox is a bit more substantial.
“Hopefully, if the engine and transmission are salvageable, it’s almost everything else at the front that needs to be replaced. We’ve got our fingers crossed on that.
“The rear took a small hit, but I think we can send that to the bodyshop and get it pulled out. It was a pretty big hit, which is obviously what we didn’t need in this stage of the programme. We had two test days before Thruxton and were going to use this one to develop the car, and all of a sudden now we’re spending them just trying to get the car back on track.”
United Autopsort’s Cole gave his view on the incident, saying: “I made a very good start in the second race, getting ahead of at least four cars from off the grid but then I got spun around at Redgate. The tracking was slightly out only for all hell to break out going down Craner Curves.
“I made contact with Rob Holland after avoiding Rob Austin, who was rejoining the track and I ended up contacting the wall heavily. Unfortunately my Toyota is completely written off – the United Autosports guys who’ve already done a great job just getting the cars on the grid for the start of the season, didn’t deserve this latest setback.”