Austin keeping aims realistic for Guilietta’s second BTCC weekend

Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

HMS Racing’s Rob Austin believes its still too early to expect great things from the Alfa Romeo Guilietta at Donington Park, despite a strong performance at Brands Hatch.

Austin claimed a podium finish from the first round of the 2018 British Touring Car Championship and currently lies fourth in the overall drivers’ championship. But he warns there are still plenty of unknowns as the Guiletta heads into its second weekend in the BTCC.

“Donington is a track I’ve always gone well on,” said Austin. “I’ve won there in pretty much everything I’ve driven and last year we managed to stick the old Toyota on pole position, so I’m looking forward to being back there.

“Where normally I would be hoping to repeat last year’s pole position and aim for race wins, I’m very aware we’ll be carrying a substantial lump of lead in a car which we still don’t fully understand.

“I said last time out [at Brands Hatch] we are only really scratching the surface when it comes to this car’s potential, and that still rings true as we head to Donington.”

The team had a chance to learn more about its car at an official test at Thruxton last weekend, but the nature of the Hampshire circuit meant the test wasn’t as effective as it would have been on a more relevant track.

“Although the official Thruxton test was useful, Thruxton is a very, very different circuit where we also use a different tyre, so most of the data we gather is only relevant to that specific circuit,” Austin said. “Unfortunately, that test meant we were unable to fit in a more relevant test day as well.”

Austin added that, once the team better understands the car, he’ll be aiming for wins again.