The eighth meeting of the 2013 British Touring Car Championship was one to remember for Rob Austin, who finally got rid of the monkey on his back by claiming his first series race victory in the second encounter at Rockingham.
After flirting with the prospect of a maiden BTCC win last time out at Knockhill, Austin again mixed it with the front-runners throughout the weekend at Northamptionshire’s Rockingham Speedway, qualifying third on the grid behind the KX Momentum Racing MGs of Jason Plato and Sam Tordoff.
The Evesham racer then produced a superb fightback in race one after slipping back to ninth on the first lap, nicking third place from Gordon Shedden on the run to the line.
However, it was race two where the WIX Racing man made the headlines, when a fabulous start in the rear-wheel-drive Audi A4 allowed him to slip to the inside of pole-sitter Andrew Jordan and into an early lead, one which he would never lose as he claimed a very popular 3.3s win over Shedden amid packed grandstands echoing applause.
“It has just been an awesome day for everyone in the WIX Racing team,” Austin commented after the memorable weekend. “This is the absolute top level of motor sport in the land and the incredible effort we’ve put in behind the scenes is now starting to pay off.
“The first win is just magical and I’ll admit there were a lot of emotions in the car on the last lap when I think of the commitment from all the people involved, but boy has it been worth it. Coming back into parc ferme and seeing the smiles and tears on people’s faces is a memory I’ll treasure forever.”
The Rockingham visit backs up what has been a purple patch of stellar form for Austin and WIX Racing over the previous two meetings with five top four finishes in the last six races, as well as four podiums, one pole position and one win to his name during that period.
Looking ahead to the final two rounds at Silverstone and Brands Hatch, Austin wants to continue that form and challenge for further victories, adding: “We need to carry this momentum over into the final two fixtures on the calendar.
“The drivers embroiled in the title fight, who have quite a bit more to lose, will know that we now really mean business when we’re out on track. We’re a real threat and will be going to Silverstone and Brands Hatch fully intent on more wins.
“For now, though, we’re going to thoroughly enjoy our achievements and I hope our many fans do as well – the reaction to our results today on social media has been out of this world. Undoubtedly we’ve won both on the track and off it today.”
Austin’s form has also sprung him into the top 10 of the championship table, the WIX Racing man now lying ninth having entered the round 12th in the standings.