The VW Racing Cup will have yet another member of the 2012 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship contingent in its ranks at Snetterton this weekend.

Rob Austin has teamed up with BTCC opponent Tony Gilham‘s Team HARD. to race one of the team’s Mark 5 Golf GTIs.

Austin, who normally plies his trade in a rear-wheel drive Audi A4, is looking forward to the new challenge.

He told “Tony and I have been in touch since last season, he nearly drove one of my Audi's at one point so when I got a call from him asking if I fancied a go…well, I will race anything anyway, but I’ve watched the VW cup when we used to run cars in the British GT championship and it always looked good fun and I believe it's grown in profile as well.

“I've also become envious of certain aspects of the FWD cars in the BTCC so I thought I best see what that's all about.” 

“I'm looking forward to a fun weekend, some useful practice on the circuit for next weekend, and thank you to Team-HARD. for trusting me with their car.”

The championship’s profile is indeed growing, and Austin will join his Touring Car rival Tom Onslow-Cole on the grid with the eBay Motors BMW man stepping into the hotseat of a brand-new VW Scirocco.

Gilham, whose outfit launched the VW scholarship earlier this year, knows what it takes to win the championship after taking victory in his outing at Spa last month. He is confident Austin will be competitive first time out, but remained coy on whether there was more to the partnership than a one-off weekend.

“I believe Rob will be a front running driver in anything that he does as he has already proven so far this year,” he said. “During 1 of the conversations the idea came up about working together on a few ideas.

“This is the start, and who knows where this could lead…”