Tony Gilham
Team Hard

Testing Time For Holland

Testing Time For Holland

Jul 19, 2012
Team HARD’s BTCC newcomer, Robb Holland was greeted with what some might say was, ‘typical British weather’ on Friday whilst testing the team’s Honda Civic at Norfolk’s Snetterton 300 circuit. Holland who will become the first American driver to compete in the British Touring Car Championship since Bill Gubelmann in 1975 was greeted by his new team meets in very wet conditions for Friday’s test, but it didn’t dampen his spirits.

He was due to go out on track for the first of his 4 sessions at 9am, but the track was awash with standing water, so the first session was delayed until midday.
After taking the chequered flag which ended the first session, Robb sent a radio message to the team saying that he loved the car and couldn’t wait for the next session. Team owner, Tony Gilham who was standing on the pit wall recording Robb’s times replied, “I want my car back”. “You can’t have it” came the message back from Holland. This was to be the start of the banter that continued throughout the day.

Tony had travelled up with Team Manager, Gary Allen, Engineer, Phil Boase and tyre Manager, Andy Eastmond. Chief Engineer, Dave Peace had driven down from Yorkshire whilst Kevin Doody travelled in from Hertfordshire. Truck driver, Martin Sivyer was already on site when the rest of the team arrived having driven up the previous afternoon. Session two also saw Holland go out on full wets due to the persistent rain. However, this session was cut short due to a red flag, but his times were starting to come down.

The 2nd red flag of the day came out half way through the 3rd session, but it did give Holland the opportunity to pit and change to slicks as the let up in the rain and the blustery wind was starting to dry the track.

News of Holland’s attendance had obviously spread as there was a photographer on hand wanting to take some shots and run a story. In the garage next door was current WTCC driver Rob Huff who throughout the day spent time with both Gilham and Holland as did a few fans who had braved the weather.

With the weather holding, both Holland and Gilham were hoping that the last session was going to be a completely dry run, but just 15 minutes prior to the start of the session the heavens opened again. However, once the day was over and the truck was loaded, Robb had time to reflect and said that he‘d had a great day, even though it was in difficult conditions. He went on to say, “Team HARD did an awesome job in prepping the car as I got a good feel for the car and liked what I felt and I’m really looking forward to coming back to Snetterton in August for my first taste of BTCC action”. Tony replied, “As ever, the team had done a really good job in setting the car up and it was good to see Robb settle in so quickly. Looking at the way he drove today in these awful conditions means that we’re all really looking forward to seeing Robb in action in dry conditions”.

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Tony Gilham

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