Back to the front for Rob Austin, WIX Racing at Oulton Park
Team & driver cruelly denied possible maiden win while leading
Worcestershire’s Rob Austin and the WIX Racing team found themselves back in the lead of the Dunlop British Touring Car pack at Oulton Park today as they fought for victory in race three at the Cheshire circuit.
In front of live ITV4 cameras and close to 40,000 trackside spectators, Evesham racer Rob made his trademark demon start go from third on the grid to first place into the first bend. He then stayed in front for the next six laps in his no.13 WIX Racing Audi A4 before being knocked off the track by another driver (officials later put points on that driver’s competition licence and fined him). Rob meanwhile eventually crossed the finishing line in fifth position.
Rob’s team-mate Will Bratt took sixth position – his best result to date in the BTCC. This meant the Pershore-based Rob Austin Racing outfit which prepares the Audis was the first of the multi-car teams to get both its cars across the line.
It marked one of the strongest results to date for the squad. Rob also achieved outright points finishes in the day’s first two races with 13th and eighth place results having moved up the order after qualifying 18th on the grid for race one.
Rob commented: “I’m not naming names but unfortunately I’ve been barged off the track by someone whose driving is seriously lacking in a few departments – first he turned into me trying a move that was never going to come off and that seriously put my car’s steering out. He still couldn’t get past so clearly decided the only way past was to ram me. I’d half expected it from him but was still disappointed when it came particularly as we were maybe on course for that first win in the BTCC.
“But to have both our cars in the top six is still a very positive note to end the day – we’ve overtaken a lot of people today and, I hope, put on a great show for the fans and TV viewers. The support we’ve received yet again from all our sponsors, partners and the fans in the paddock, around the track and on social media has been phenomenal.
“Sure we’ve got more pace to find to get us back to where we belong, particularly in qualifying. If we can start qualifying in the top ten again then I believe we’ll be a serious threat to the others as we’re always at our strongest in race trim.”
Rob and WIX Racing will next be in BTCC action at the Croft circuit in North Yorkshire on the weekend of 22/23 June.
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