Austin aiming for Scottish success - The Evesham Observer

Austin aiming for Scottish success

Evesham Editorial 21st Aug, 2018   0

KNOCKHILL Circuit in Fife – the home of Scottish motorsport – hosts the annual visit of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship this coming weekend when Alfa Romeo racer Rob Austin is hungry to fully realise the true potential of his 2018 charger.

The whole DUO Motorsport with HMS Racing team makes the 400-mile journey from its base in Swindon to Scotland and is determined to make the eighth race meeting of the BTCC season one to remember.

Frustratingly, the maiden season for the squad’s glorious Alfa Romeo Giulietta has been tempered by an unbelievable run of misfortune which has cost Evesham driver Austin a hatful of points on multiple occasions and has limited the team to one podium finish thus far.

Without any shadow of a doubt, though, the current DUO Motorsport with HMS Racing package has an immense amount of potential – as seen numerous times this season – and the team continues to work night and day to unlock the results those efforts undoubtedly deserve.

“I love Knockhill, it’s one of my favourite tracks to drive, there’s always a great atmosphere and the guys at the circuit always do a great job of running the event,” said Austin.

“I’ve been on the podium there quite a few times and I’ve never seen a crowd like it.

“The potential is unquestionably there to visit the podium again, as it has been for some time now, but events outside our control have stopped us from demonstrating it. I would love to just have a clean, fair run at the weekend – if we do I’m sure we can be right up there.”

He added: “I’m starting to feel like a broken record saying our luck will change, so I think for this weekend we’ve got to manage our expectations, carry on giving it maximum effort and wait and see what fate delivers.”

Whilst Knockhill is one of the shortest tracks on the calendar – just 1.27 miles – it is also one of the most spectacular with incredible corners such as Duffus Dip, the crested chicane and Clark’s always posing a test to both man and machine.

Traditionally a track which suits rear-wheel drive cars, the front-wheel drive Alfa Romeo will be at a disadvantage in that respect but, with Austin something of a Knockhill specialist – he first raced there back in 1998 in the single-seater Formula Renault UK Championship – there are realistic hopes for one of the better weekends of the year for DUO Motorsport with HMS Racing.

Famous for providing the most stunning vista on the entire BTCC calendar, with a view overlooking the Firth of Forth and the famous Forth Bridges, Knockhill is also renowned for the huge crowds and the incredible support they give to the touring car competitors.

Austin is 16th in the standings with 72 points and eighth in the independents with 146 points heading into round 22 on Sunday.

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