Wednesday, July 30, 2014

BTCC: Rob Austin Racing to celebrate 100 BTCC races at Snetterton‏

Rob Austin Press Release

  • Drivers Rob Austin & Hunter Abbott chasing big results as touring car season resumes
Norfolk’s winding Snetterton 300 circuit this weekend (Sat 2/Sun 3 August) marks the return to Dunlop British Touring Car action for Worcestershire team Rob Austin Racing and hopes are high of strong results in all three races for drivers Rob Austin (Evesham) and the newly-wed Hunter Abbott (Maidenhead) as the squad celebrates its landmark 100th race in Britain’s premier motor racing championship.

For Rob there is unfinished business at Snetterton and it’s clear he’d also like to reward his hard-working crew of mechanics who at RAR’s Pershore base have brilliantly restored his Exocet Racing Audi ‘Sherman’ which left Croft’s recent three BTCC races in somewhat battered condition.

He comments: “I made a mess of Snetterton 12 months ago and felt that I had let everyone down. This time I am determined to put that right and make sure we go on a run of three very strong race events in a row – Snetterton, Knockhill and Rockingham. Above all I want to do it for my boys who’ve done a terrific rebuild job but of course all our great sponsors and fans too who again have given us nothing but tremendous support all the way.

“Snetterton isn’t our absolute strongest circuit but we have a great chassis and a great engine so it has the potential to be very good still. And while we lack a little in a straight line compared to the manufacturer cars we make up for that with determination so I think podium results could be on the cards if we get a good run at it.”

Rob has also had some choice words for some of his rivals in the run-up to Snetterton, adding: “I have been knocked around a lot this season, the victim of other drivers’ poor driving. But I believe that within reason you make your own luck so I have been analysing the incidents we have been involved in.

“The only way I can see to stop it happening is to be more aggressive! I pride myself on being a clean and fair racer so it’s not how I like to race, but in relying on other competitors to give me racing room and trying to avoid contact people seem to be taking that as an open invitation to cause an incident and blame me and that’s got to change.”

As for having guided his team to 100 touring car races – the landmark will be achieved in the first of Snetterton’s three races on Sunday – Rob says: “Let’s get to 100 first! Then I’ll have a think about it. But it’s fair to say that the difference comparing where we are now to where we were when we first arrived in touring cars in 2011 is immense in every aspect. Let’s hope we have a nice result to talk about…”

Rob concludes: “From a driver’s point of view I preferred the old Snetterton track as it was much faster and flowed better. However, although we do less laps per race on the 300 track the fans these days get a much better view of the action particularly through the twisting infield section – and it is always the fans who are the most important people at BTCC events. The camping atmosphere at Snetterton is also really special. I went to watch the bands play last year and couldn’t believe how big the campsite was – it was a fun evening and it’ll be bigger and even better this time.”

Timetable: Rob Austin Racing, Snetterton, Sat 2 / Sun 3 August
Saturday: 9.25am Free Practice Session 1 (40mins); Midday Free Practice Session 2 (40mins); 3.20pm Qualifying (30mins)
Sunday: Midday BTCC Race 1; 1.05pm-1.35pm Pit Lane Autograph Session; 2.35pm BTCC Race 2; 4.55pm BTCC Race 3 (all races 12 laps/35.88 miles)

Photo credit: BTCC