Andy Neate has revealed that his new IP Tech Race Engineering team is to delay its debut in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship until the fourth round of the year at Oulton Park.
The team had been due to make its first appearance at Donington Park this weekend, but a series of delays and other unforeseen incidents beyond the team's control have put back the completion date on its new NGTC-spec Chevrolet Cruze.
As such, rather than try to get the car out at Donington without any prior testing, the team will now debut at Oulton Park in early June in order to conduct a full testing programme with the car, which will run under the Team Club 44 banner.
"We fully understand that there will be some disappointment from the fans who were looking forward to seeing the Team Club 44 Chevrolet on track at Donington Park," Neate said. "However, circumstances beyond our control have conspired against us, and it meant that we weren't able to get on track to complete the running that we had planned prior to Donington.
"As I have said previously, I've been in the position before where I've gone into a race weekend with a car that I hadn't had the chance to gel with properly, and it isn't something I want to do again. The whole aim in creating IP Tech Race Engineering is to build a team that is capable of challenging towards the front end of the field, and it is more beneficial to us to go testing with the Cruze so that when we debut at Oulton Park, we are able to show what was are actually capable of, and won't be on the back foot dealing with any of the teething issues that you inevitably get with a brand new car.
"There is a lot of work that has gone into putting the team and this programme together, more work than a lot of people would imagine, and it is vital for all concerned that we do things properly and that we do ourselves justice when we hit the track. Everyone involved is hugely excited about what is to come in the next few weeks as we embark on the testing programme we have planned and we can't wait for Oulton Park as there are few better places to introduce a new car into the series."