PERSHORE-based Rob Austin Racing will not remember their final day of the 2014 Dunlop British Touring Car Championship season with fondness, but can go into the winter break proud of their achievements during the year having yet again demonstrated the fighting spirit that has endeared them to so many thousands of trackside and TV fans.
Drivers Rob Austin of Evesham and Hunter Abbott of Maidenhead both suffered severe damage to their Audi A4s in a first corner pile-up in the first of three races on Sunday around the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit.
However, thanks to a miraculous repair job from his crew inside just 90 minutes, Austin’s Exocet Racing car ‘Sherman’ was able to take the start for race two and was joined in race three by Abbott’s AlcoSense Breathalysers Racing machine ‘Panzer’.
The team’s efforts did not go unnoticed with huge applause around the circuit from an appreciative trackside crowd as the cars left the pit lane for the start.
Austin was able to finish 15th in race three for a championship point. He finishes 12th in the drivers’ standings in a season which brought him and the team their second BTCC race win as well as three more podium results.
Abbott finished his maiden BTCC season 20th out of 32 competitors with a pair of impressive top ten race results to show.
Team principal Austin commented: “Sure, Brands Hatch hasn’t gone to plan, but what the team has shown yet again is an incredible fighting spirit to beat the odds and fix both cars so they could race again.
The accident in race one left me wondering if either car would come out to play again but my team simply do not know when they are beaten. Most teams would have called it a day but not us. What they did was incredible.
“It has been a season of highs and lows – the highlight of course being the win at Rockingham – but we’ve really held our own against bigger budget opposition in what has now grown into one of the three most competitive motor racing championships in the world alongside Formula 1 and NASCAR.
“An awful lot of that is also down to our fantastic sponsors Exocet, DUO and AlcoSense, as well as all our equally enthusiastic partners and all the public who have joined our Owners Club. Their passion really keeps us going and I cannot thank them enough.
“From here we will go back to base in Pershore, rebuild both cars and then, for the first time thanks to our sponsors, look towards a proper winter testing programme to make sure we come back in 2015 even stronger and faster. I can’t wait for it to begin all over again.”
Rob Austin Racing would like to congratulate Colin Turkington and the WSR/eBay Motors team on winning the BTCC title at Brands Hatch.