British Touring Car veteran Dave Pinkney is to take to the 2011 grid behind the wheel of one of Rob Austin Racing's NGTC Audi A4 cars.

Pinkney, whose BTCC experience extends back into the 1980s and includes stints driving some of the series' most successful car, was expected to take a sabbatical from racing after selling the Vectra he campaigned last year to Pirtek Racing.

“I have been in talks with Rob Austin Racing for a while now and I'm very excited to be on board with the Audi project,” said Pinkney. “I think we have the right package to be running at the sharp end of the grid and I can't wait to get in to the season.”

“This is a great step for us,” added Austin. “We needed an experienced driver and I am sure that Dave's expertise will help us sort the new car and get us to the front of the pack.”

Pinkney's signing, needless to say, will see some of his trademark hue on the Audi when it unveiled at next week's BTCC media day at Silverstone. The team will only have one car for the day (March 24), while the second machine is being completed by GPR Motorsport.