FIA Formula Two Championship race-winner Will Bratt will make his British Touring Car Championship debut this weekend at Oulton Park in a Rob Austin Racing Audi.
Team owner Rob Austin will be not be racing his own car because of the damage it sustained at Thruxton. 24-year-old Bratt will race the team's second car, which was last raced at the end of 2011 by Chris Swanwick. Austin has been without a teammate since Mark Hazell withdrew before the season opener.
Banbury racer Bratt won the Euroseries 3000 title in 2009, the year before the championship was won by Romain Grosjean following its rebranding to Auto GP. After contesting the 2009-10 GP2 Asia Series as a prize, Bratt moved into Formula Two. After finishing fifth overall in 2010 he scored his maiden win at Spa-Francorchamps in June 2011 before a lack of budget derailed his title bid.
He tested the RAR Audi A4 at Rockingham last weekend.
“It's a deal just for Oulton at the moment but hopefully it'll be the start of a longer relationship,” said Austin to btcc.net. “I think he's seen the potential of the Audi and wants to be part of the programme.
“I don't think getting him up to speed in a touring car will be any problem. He's already a very quick driver and we saw that at Rockingham where he was very good straight away. In fact I think he's going to be very exciting.
“Unfortunately I'm not able to race as my own car is still being repaired following its very big shunt at Thruxton. Will is going to be in our second car which is fully prepared to the latest 2012 specification.
“But I fully intend being back out for Croft and we've also got on top of the engine problems that we're affecting us at Thruxton and Donington Park. In fact I'm gutted not to be racing at Oulton but, as a one-off, in some ways it might prove beneficial as it will enable me to see how they operate when normally I'd be out in the car. Plus it means I can have a beer!”