Fan favourite Rob Austin was missing from the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship grid at Knockhill – but the popular racer is hoping public support can make sure his absence was just a one off.

The Audi driver, who scored a podium at Croft before the summer break but suffered problems when the series returned at Snetterton, has battled financial problems all season and despite prospects for 2013 looking good, the immediate future of his Rob Austin Racing outfit is still uncertain.

Spurred on by his supporters on social network site Twitter, he has now turned to fans of the championship in a bid to be back on the grid at Rockingham.

Fans can purchase 10cm x 5cm slots to get their photo on the roof of his Audi A4 for £35, as well as a photo opportunity with the man himself, who says success with their support would be something truly special.

I have some great potential sponsors lined up and great prospects for next year,” he told theCheckeredFlag.co.uk, “but that doesn’t help us here and now and we need some results to show what we could do if we were properly funded, so this could be the answer. 

“If all our supporters help us out here and I can go out there and win a race for them  then I think that would be a really special thing and I believe with the modifications we are making to the car this will be our best shot at a race win.”

Similar schemes are adopted in a variety of formulae, from Formula Renault BARC racer Kieran Vernon through to the Red Bull Formula One team, and its progress from idea to reality has been quick –  but the last thing Austin wants is to take advantage of his support.

“I had a word with RTech who support our website,” he added, “and the next thing I know it’s live on the site. I don’t want to make a habit of it as the support I get is amazing and that should be enough without it costing them £35 as well. But I’m desperate so just this once we are going to give it a go. 

“I don’t know if it will work or not, ideally I’m hoping to sell 200 of the spots so it will cover our tyre bill and a few other bits but time will tell. I’m also going to offer hospitality packages for Rockingham as well so stand by for that as well!”

Want to see your face on Rob Austin’s Audi? Click this link to find out how: http://www.robaustin.com/get-your-picture-on-robs-car/