Friday, May 8, 2015

BTCC: High speed Thruxton is the next stop for Rob Austin Racing Audi A4s

Rob Austin Racing Press Release

Rob Austin (Evesham) says he’d be “over the moon” with three top ten results for his team at his Dunlop British Touring Car bogey circuit of Thruxton this weekend (Sat 9/Sun 10 May).

Rob and team-mate Hunter Abbott (Maidenhead) arrive at the high-speed Hampshire circuit knowing that technical modifications made to their Exocet AlcoSense Audis during the winter break have improved the cars’ performance.

But strong results at Thruxton have always been harder to come by than at any other circuit for the A4s.
Rob, though, sees a chink of light, saying: “It has been a notoriously bad place for us but – without jinxing myself – I still have quite a good feeling about this weekend.

“Donington a few weeks ago is our other bogey circuit and we went significantly better there than before. So I think we can improve on our previous performances at Thruxton. How far up we can get I don’t know but if we came away with three ‘top tens’ I’d be over the moon.

“Thruxton and Donington for us are about staying out of trouble and collecting what we can before we move onto much better circuits for us at Oulton Park and Croft in June.

“Looking to this weekend, dry weather would make life easier for us. And even though it’s not worked yet for us in touring cars, Thruxton remains my favourite circuit – it has fantastic character and is a great and really well run sporting venue that always pulls in the crowds.”

The Rob Austin Racing team has been hard at work since Donington inside its Pershore workshop – particularly with rebuilding Hunter’s Audi ‘Panzer’ after it suffered heavy damage following contact from another car at the Leicestershire track.

Rob adds: “The shell has undergone quite a repair job and Hunter’s number one mechanic Lee Brant has been up against it putting the car back together in time for Thruxton so a big ‘thank you’ to everyone involved. Both cars – Panzer and Sherman – are perfect again. In fact we’ve got a new race trailer – it’s the best one in the paddock – and Panzer has travelled to Thruxton in it in style!”

Hunter meanwhile has a bit of a tan arriving at Thruxton. He explains: “My wife Susie and I have had a quick break in Nice and we even walked the Monaco Grand Prix circuit which they were preparing for Formula E (this weekend) and the GP itself later in the month. The downhill Loews Hairpin is amazing – I dread to think what might happen if they let the BTCC race through there!

“As for this weekend, Rob is right – it has been the worst circuit for the Audi in the past. But the changes that have been made to the car have made it better through a certain type of corner of which there are quite a few at Thruxton, so I’m going in open-eyed.”

Rob’s and Hunter’s British Touring Car weekend at Thruxton begins with two 40-minute practice sessions on Saturday (10.00am and 12.45pm) followed by qualifying (4.05pm). Sunday’s three big 16-lap races are at 12.10pm, 2.30pm and 5.15pm and all being broadcast live on ITV4.

Photo creditRob Austin Racing