Despite the team being largely absent from the championship's media day this week driver Dave Pinkney says Rob Austin Racing are still planning to debut at the first round of the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) at Brands Hatch.

“We're a bit behind on the car and the engine to be fair,” Pinkney admitted to TCF during media day.
“We thought we were on target and thing just keep rearing their heads and over the last three weeks realised that it wasn't going to happen today.”

However, while other entrants have made public their intentions to miss the opening rounds – Lea Wood and Welch Motorsport planning to begin their seasons in the summer – Pinkney says the team are still targeting a debut at Brands Hatch on April 2-3.

“That's the plan,” he says. “Brand new car, we don't know how quick it's going to be or whatever. Hopefully the car comes out lighter than is currently in the regs and if the weight comes out lighter then I believe the regs will be altered to reduce the weight of the car which is obviously needed.”

The 58-year-old was only confirmed as the driver of the no.12 Audi A4 for the team last week after initially planning to take a year away from the championship.

“I had such a horrendous year last year with all the DNFs and all the problems just one of those years and I just hated it. I think we looked through we had about 22 DNFs and if you look at the results we finished but only because we went out to iron out the problems of whatever and ended up being two laps behind.”

“So I thought I'd call it a day and not bother then I got a phone call to say that these two new Audis are being built they haven't been in the championship for about 14 years, the last time with Frank Beila and I thought 'wow'.

“I'm looking forward to driving the thing.”

Pinkney also told TCF the planned livery for the cars is based on the red, grey, black and white colour schemes made famous by the rallying Quattros of the 1980s – only the red will be replaced by the obligatory pink on the no.12.