Sunday, May 10, 2015

BTCC: Though qualifying session for Rob Austin Racing Audi drivers at Thruxton

Rob Austin Racing Press Release

Rob Austin (Evesham) will likely try a radical set-up on his Exocet AlcoSense Audi in tomorrow’s three Dunlop British Touring Car races at Thruxton after another tough qualifying session at the Hampshire circuit in which team-mate Hunter Abbott (Maidenhead) suffered a crash at high speed.

Thruxton has stood out as the bogey circuit for the Rob Austin Racing-prepared Audis since the team first moved into the BTCC in 2011. This time Rob qualified 19th outright while Hunter’s best time before his accident was good enough for an eventual 20th.

“It is frustrating,” reflected Rob. “We’ve tried all sorts with the cars at Thruxton down the years but we’ve never got it working around here, whereas at other circuits of course we’ve always managed to progress and win or fight for podiums and decent points.

“I don’t think we have anything to lose tomorrow from that far back – we’ll try some really different stuff on the car tomorrow and effectively treat the three races as test sessions. If something works out for us then it’ll be a bonus.

“On saying that I’m not losing sight of the fact that our race pace is always stronger than our qualifying pace. We might still get something out of tomorrow…”

Hunter’s accident, exiting the notoriously fast Goodwood bend, came near the end of the half-hour session. He explained: “My left hand wheels just caught the edge of the grass and that was it. I don’t think I really lost any speed before the car went into the barriers – sideways and on my side.

“It’s made quite a mess but I know the team will work flat out to try and fix it all for tomorrow – they’ve certainly proven themselves to be the best in the paddock at fixing cars. I don’t mind admitting that I am starting to feel sore now, particularly on my neck and back. It was a big impact.”

Photo creditRob Austin Racing