BTCC

Austin disappointed after “unusual” Thruxton weekend

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Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Rob Austin was left disappointed after an “unusual weekend” at Thruxton.

The HMS Racing driver managed a best finish of 13th on Britain’s fastest race track after traffic in qualifying put him on the back foot for the rest of the weekend.

“We absolutely had a top 10 car for qualifying, but we were unlucky with the traffic,” Austin said.

“It’s not something we have an issue with often, and we normally manage it very well, but you only get one lap on your tyres at Thruxton and we were unfortunate to catch slower cars on a number of occasions.

“I think this was the turning point between a solid weekend and a disappointing one.”

Austin qualified 17th, but believes the Alfa Romeo was capable of a top six starting position if he’d managed a clear qualifying lap.

He went on to battle at the lower end of the points paying positions during Sunday’s three races, but could only manage to take points from the second race of the weekend.

“To get into the top 10, I was battling with [Adam] Morgan, [Aiden] Moffat, [Rob] Collard, [Ashley] Sutton, all proven drivers and extremely hard to beat,” Austin explained. “We had some great racing, just not for the positions any of us wanted or expected.

“I believe if we had got a clear qualifying lap and put the car sixth, which the data said was possible, we could’ve run in and maintained the top 10.

“We were progressing slowly through in race three until late on when I took a hefty whack from [Tom] Chilton, which fired me into Moffat and took us both across the grass – undoing all the work I had done in the first two races and putting us out of the points again.”

Despite only taking three points from the meeting, Austin is happy with the Alfa and is confident strong results are possible at Oulton Park.

“Even though the results weren’t there this weekend, I had a really good feeling in the car. So, heading to Oulton Park, I’m confident we can begin to show the potential in the DUO Motorsport with HMS Alfa Romeo.”

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