Rob Austin Racing Press Release
Rob Austin Racing exceeded expectations with strong points finishes in today’s Dunlop British Touring Car races at Norfolk’s Snetterton circuit – a venue at which it has previously struggled for results with its Audi A4s.
Rob Austin raced to ninth and eighth place finishes in his Exocet AlcoSense Audi in races two and three. There was also a points finish for team-mate Hunter Abbott with 12th in race two – and it could have been more had he not been spun out of contention in race three.
Rob’s results owed much to a strategic call in race one after problems in Saturday’s qualifying session – later traced to a broken suspension component – had left him back in 21st on the grid.
He commented: “We had nothing to lose from that far back so took the strategic decision to start from the pit lane, some time after the rest had gone – that gave us a clear track and I was able to concentrate on a fast lap which decides the race two grid. P13 was a good return…
“From P13 race two came to us with ninth although I have to admit we rode our luck a bit in the opening laps – some of the driving out there was crazy today. P9 on the grid for race three became P8 at the end and I’m really pleased with my driving in that race – we don’t have the fastest car here so I put everything into turning in precise, consistent lap times which payed off as those behind were getting close at the end.
“Snetterton has not been kind to us in the past but this shows how we have evolved as a team over the past 12 months and how we’ve progressed the cars. I’m really pleased with my day and of course Knockhill – one of our best circuits – is next up. I’m really looking forward to that one.”
Hunter is also leaving Snetterton on a high despite the results across the three races masking his true form.
He said: “It’s actually been a positive weekend when you drill down and take a look at it – I was quick straight away in first free practice on Saturday and to qualify 13th fastest outright, well within a second of pole, was very pleasing – that’s a gain of 14 places and more than two seconds compared to what I got out of the car here 12 months ago!
“Race one, hands up… I made an error with a quick spin and it dropped me out of the points. Race two we had a small problem with the turbo which took away some straight line speed but, still, 12th place was much more reflective of our pace this weekend. Race three I was running P11 and am confident a top ten was on only for Collard to misjudge things and spin me off the track. Up until that point we were mixing it with BMWs and Hondas…
“Snetterton is always a great barometer for teams to really gauge the progress they’ve made and it’s clear, by the significant increase in our pace this weekend on a circuit which has never been the best for us, that all the hard work is paying off.”