Wednesday, March 12, 2014

BTCC: Hunter Abbott joins Rob Austin Racing for 2014 BTCC season

Rob Austin Racing Press Release

  • Front-running team for rapid Berkshire racer's debut assault on nation's biggest motor sport prize

Hunter Abbott will race the Rob Austin Racing team’s second Audi A4 in the 2014 Dunlop British Touring Car Championship.

Abbott, from Maidenhead, will enter his first season in the UK’s premier motor racing championship as team-mate to proven race-winner Rob Austin.

Major sponsorship for the 33-year-old will come from award-winning alcohol breathalyser manufacturer AlcoSense.

The first of ten race events that make up the 2014 BTCC calendar takes place at the iconic Brands Hatch circuit in Kent on Sunday 30 March. Prior to that is next week’s (Tues 18 March) high-profile BTCC Media Day season launch at the Donington Park circuit in Leicestershire.

Notably each of those ten events will receive close to seven hours of live television coverage in the UK on the ITV4 channel. Over 20 million viewers watched the ITV network’s increased coverage of the BTCC in 2013 while trackside audiences grew for the tenth consecutive year to an average of 37,000 people per event.

Meanwhile Abbott is a highly accomplished racer with numerous podium results in British and international GT competition. He also has extensive knowledge of the circuits raced on the BTCC calendar having been a front-runner in the supporting Ginetta GT Supercup category in 2012.

He has already had his first taste of the turbocharged, 300bhp, 2-litre Audi A4 that he will race for Rob Austin Racing in 2014 with a test session at the Rockingham circuit in Northamptonshire last Thursday (6 March).

Hunter Abbott:
“Watching the BTCC in the Nineties is what made me want to race in the first place. Racing in the BTCC is the realisation of part of a childhood dream and finally I’ve got an opportunity to do it – and with a team that’s clearly on the up. The deal has come together quite late but I got my first run in the Audi (Thursday Rockingham) and I’m pleased with how it went. Rob and I shared a car in 2008 in British GT and we like the same things. The power delivery in a turbo car took some getting used to but I immediately felt at home in the Audi.”

Team Principal Rob Austin:
“I’m very excited about having Hunter in the team – particularly having seen how quickly he got into the groove at Rockingham in less than ideal track conditions. He's driven for me in the past and always been very rapid. All the team are immediately very impressed with his approach and we’re looking forward to the season together.”

Photo credit: Phil Laughton Photography / Rob Austin Racing