Rob Austin Racing, Audi A4 (Photo Credit: btcc.net)

Rob Austin Racing, Audi A4 (Photo Credit: btcc.net)

ROB AUSTIN RACING

No.31 Mark Hazell – No.TBA Rob Austin
Audi A4

From basically nothing – a demonstration half lap of the Brands Hatch Indy circuit to be precise – at the start of the year RAR transformed the Audi into a podium contender by the end of the season – almost pipping James Nash to a maiden win in the final race at Rockingham.

Austin, who replaced original driver Dave Pinkney, proved himself a worthy addition to the BTCC paddock on and off the track sporting aviator sunglasses almost regardless of the weather.

Former Clio and Carrera Cup driver Mark Hazell was the first driver to be confirmed at the team before Austin was placed in the second car late on.

Austin, if he completes the full season rather than ceding position to another wheelman with the necessary budget, faces a similar problem to his old NGTC rival Wrathall. His 2011 performances are stalked with the mental asterisk of how the changing boost levels and minimum weights swung fortunes back and fourth.

If development on the A4 has continued at the same pace through the off season, then Austin's team could still have some surprises left.