Rob Austin Racing driver Hunter Abbott looks set to miss the seventh meting of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Knockhill next month.
The former British GT and Ginetta GT4 Supercup racer will be absent as his first child is due to be born in late August, potentially coinciding with the BTCC’s visit to Knockhill (22/23 August) of which Abbott says he will firmly put second on his agenda.
“I’m absolutely gutted to miss Knockhill as the Audi performs so well there, but I would be exponentially more gutted to miss the birth of our first child,” said Abbott, who so far holds a best 2015 result of 10th place at Brands Hatch.
“Sod’s law of course says the baby will be early or late so I could have made Knockhill, but being at the opposite end of the country and getting back in time is just too risky.”
Team boss Rob Austin is looking for a replacement driver to race alongside himself in Scotland, saying: “This is a one-off for a driver of the right calibre and with budget to cover the race weekend and some testing prior to the event.
“We wanted to get this offer out there as soon as possible to give ourselves the best possible chance to find the right driver for the job.”
Austin, who famously took pole position at the Fife circuit back in 2013, said that his and Audi’s previous form at Knockhill make the vacancy in the team’s Audi A4 a ‘fantastic opportunity’.
He said: “It’s qualified on the front row of the grid in both the last two years [including pole position in 2013] and also taken four podium results out of the last six races there.”
Austin and Abbott sit 14th and 19th respectively in the Drivers’ Championship after the opening five meetings of 2015, the former’s Brands Hatch race three result of fifth place the team’s best of the season.