Sunday, June 24, 2012

Rob Austin Racing great BTCC weekend with Audi at Croft

By Tarek Ramchani

The British Touring Car Championship hosted round 4 at Croft this weekend. Rob Austin Racing, the only Audi team in BTCC had a fantastic weekend with their much improving and fast Audi A4 NGTC cars.

Rob Austin Racing fielded a pair of Audis . the #13 car for team owner/driver Rob Austin who qualified in seventh and the sister #14 machine for Will Bratt.

In race 1, both Audis did very well. Rob Austin had a bad start, dropping from seventh to eleventh. After a safety car period Rob Austin started an amazing charge through the field. After overtaking many rivals he finished in a very positive fifth overall. Will Bratt started way behind and just like Rob Austin he had a great pace. The rookie driver finished in ninth, not bad at all after coming from the back of the pack.

Race 2 was even greater for the team. Rob Austin started from fifth and immediately showed that the A4 is among the fastest cars on track. The Audi driver battled hard with two BMW 320Si cars and a privateer Honda Civic. In the end he was finished in a stunning third, right behind the dominant and fully factory backed Hondas of Team Dynamics. His team mate Will Bratt had a very hard race 2. The youngster had two excursions off track. He ended in eighteenth place.

The third and final race of the day was the hardest. The leading cars raced and grouped at the front. Rob Austin with his Audi was able to fight against the BTCC top guns who are all works supported teams and cars. In the end it was a great seventh place finish after a last lap pass on a very narrow chicane over a BMW 320Si. While the second Audi of Will Bratt did not take part of race 3.

Overall it was the best weekend so far for Rob Austin Racing and Audi in the 2012 British Touring Car season. The team is clearly the only truly privately built and managed car in series that is currently running at the front. Fingers crossed for the whole team to have more support and sponsorship for the rest of 2012. The A4 NGTC has proved to be one of the finest of the field. Next stop for the BTCC will be at the very fast Snetterton circuit on August the 12th.

Photo credit: Pete Mainey / and

More information:
Rob Austin Racing official website
BTCC official website

#14 Audi A4 NGTC - Will Bratt