Monday, May 6, 2013

BTCC: A weekend to forget for Rob Austin Racing Audi at Thruxton

By Tarek Ramchani

As expected Rob Austin Racing faced a very hard weekend at Thruxton, for the third meeting of the British Touring Car Championship. The two Audi A4 NGTC cars struggled a lot on a very penalizing track.

It all started with a very disappointing qualifying session yesterday, Will Bratt qualified his #14 Audi A4 in eighteenth place and Rob Austin with the #13 car was twenty-fifth. In race 1 Will Bratt again finished in eighteenth place, right ahead of the other Audi with Rob Austin in nineteenth. In race 2 Rob Austin improved one position finishing eighteenth, whilst Will Bratt ended twenty-second. Race 3 was clearly the hardest of the day for RAR. Rob Austin did not finish the race, retiring after eight laps. Will Bratt was seventeenth.

Thruxton race saw a case of Honda domination, the works Honda Yuasa Racing Team won all three races. Matt Neal with the #2 Honda Civic victorious in the first two races of the day. The race three victory went to the 2012 champion, Gordon Shedden, with the #1 Honda Civic.

Rob Austin Racing may have struggled a lot at Thruxton, with a very obvious lack of top speed, however the car is very well balanced, as seen at the previous two rounds at Brands Hatch and Donington Park. Outlon Park is the next stop for the BTCC, a track which could be favorable for the Audi A4s.

Photo credit: Phil Laughton Photography