EVESHAM’S British Touring Car Championship star Rob Austin will team up on track with his father Richard in a bid to win one of historic touring car racing’s most prestigious pieces of silverware – the Gerry Marshall Trophy – at the world-famous Goodwood circuit in West Sussex next March.
Rob and Richard, also from Evesham, will share their period-liveried Faberge Brut 33 Ford Capri in the 45-minute, two-driver event during glorious Goodwood’s 73rd Members Meeting weekend on March 21/22.
The race, held for the first time in 2014, attracted a number of past Formula 1, Le Mans 24 Hours and touring car greats such as Richard Attwood, Jackie Oliver, Emanuele Pirro, Anthony Reid, Robb Gravett, Tiff Needell and Andy Priaulx.
It is named in honour of the late, great Gerry Marshall who wowed huge public crowds with his entertaining antics at the wheel of both touring and sports cars in the seventies and eighties.
Each car, such as Rob’s and Richard’s 3.0-litre Capri, must be built to Group 1 touring car regulations of the late seventies/early eighties era and also appear in liveries true to those seen in the day.
The race will take place just a week before Rob and his eponymous Pershore-based Rob Austin Racing team line up on the grid at another world famous circuit – Brands Hatch in Kent – for the start of a new British Touring Car season with their Exocet Racing Audi.
Rob, who featured in 2013’s retro Seventies Formula 1 movie Rush, said: “I’m a huge fan of seventies and eighties motorsport and I guess the Gerry Marshall Trophy is me down to a tee!
“Gerry was an absolute legend and his way of going racing as someone who first and foremost enjoyed motorsport is a philosophy I’ve always shared.
“As for our chances? Certainly the Capri was the car to have in the mid-late seventies and ours has been rebuilt beautifully to period condition, plus I know it is a very quick example with the work that has gone into it at our workshop in Pershore. I think we can be somewhere near the front.”
Richard, team manager for Rob Austin Racing in the BTCC and a keen club-level racer himself, added: “I’m really looking forward to the opportunity of racing at Goodwood in the Gerry Marshall Trophy.
“I was a huge fan and a friend of the big man and it is quite an honour to take part. I’ve won quite a few races in the Capri and know we will be there or thereabouts, but I might have to rein in my speed to avoid embarrassing Rob!”
Goodwood’s Motorsport Competitions Secretary Jack Tetley commented: “We’re delighted to be adding Rob to the star-studded entry list. He’s a man who I’m sure would have been well suited to the seventies racing scene, so we look forward to him bringing some period flair to the paddock.
“We certainly expect him to be drenched in Brut 33 and smoking filterless Bastos.”