Monday, June 10, 2013

BTCC: Rob Austin Racing Audi performed well at Oulton Park

By Tarek Ramchani

Oulton Park hosted the fourth meeting of the British Touring Car Championship this weekend. After a difficult qualifying session on Saturday, there were some fears that Rob Austin Racing and their Audi A4 NGTC cars will struggle in the races on Sunday. On race day it was a completely different story.

Rob Austin with the #13 Audi qualified in eighteenth for race 1, and his teammate Will Bratt with the sister #14 A4 further back in twenty-third. The two drivers struggled a lot on Saturday but they were able to bounce back in the races.

In race 1 Rob Austin battled hard and was able to finish in thirteenth position, whilst Will Bratt gained some positions up to seventeenth. Race 2 was even better for the RAR drivers as Rob Austin, with an improving Audi, was charging hard against the privateer Toyotas and BMWs, a fine eighth position in the end. Will Bratt also improved up to thirteenth place in the end. Not bad after very disappointing performances the day before, and it was not over yet.

Race 3 turned out to be the best of the day for the privateer Audi team. The WIX backed A4 cars were flying on track. Rob Austin started from third on the reverse grid and immediately went into race lead. He kept that position for several laps before being passed by some of the drivers. Rob Austin managed to finish in a strong fifth in the end. Will Bratt had the race of his life. Bratt started from thirteenth on the grid and had impressive pace. The driver of the #14 Audi challenged big names and front runners from MG, BMW and Ford. Will Bratt finished in a very strong sixth position, his best result ever in the demanding British Touring Car Championship.

We at the Audi Motorsport Blog have said it before, and we will say it again, the RAR Audi A4 NGTC is one of the finest cars in the BTCC field. Rob Austin Racing faced two dark meetings at Donington Park and worse at Thruxton, with a very obvious lack of top speed. Now the team is back and eager to do well in the remaining rounds. In the championship points standings Rob Austin is thirteenth with 42 points and Will Bratt is eighteenth with 21 points. In the team's standings Rob Austin Racing is tenth with 38 points.

The next round of the BTCC will be at Croft, where the Audi performed very well last year with Rob Austin.

Photo credit: Phil Laughton Photography