Ford will return to the 2013 WTCC grid

The 2013 FIA World Touring Car Championship will swell to six different manufacturers later this season, with confirmation that the ex-Arena Motorsport Ford Focus S2000s have been acquired by Rotek Racing.

With backing from the AON insurance group, Arena Motorsport ran its two Focuses in the WTCC last year with drivers Tom Chilton and James Nash at the wheel.

However, it was forced to abandon plans of a sophomore season when its parent company, the Capsicum Motorsport Group (CMG, owned by Chilton’s father Graeme), opted to shift its focus towards single-seater racing.

But it has now emerged that CMG has sold the two cars to Rotek Racing, who will run American driver Robb Holland in one car, alongside as as-yet-unnamed teammate, almost certain to be another American driver.

Holland made a one-off appearance on the WTCC grid last year when the series made its first trip to the United States of America. The American has also been a competitor in the British Touring Car Championship.

Holland had his first test outing in the Ford Focus S2000 this weekRotek Racing will initially run the operation out of its Nurburgring base, although it is understood that a permanent move to Sonoma Raceway in America is on the cards.

Holland could make his debut for the team as soon as the Race of Portugal at the end of June, although it is more likely that the following flyaway races in South and North America are more realistic targets.

“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,” Holland said, after sampling the Focus S2000 in a private test session at Brands Hatch earlier this week.

“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 programme they have planned between now and our WTCC race debut.

“The WTCC is packed with highlights but for me as an American, racing later this season at home at Sonoma with an American team and manufacturer will be extra special.”

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.