Rob Austin Left Frustrated By Incident-Packed Race Day Limiting Points Potential
Rob Austin was left frustrated as the BTCC returned this past weekend at Snetterton with two race-ending incidents seeing him leave with just a solitary points finish.
The Handy Motorsport driver arrived at the Norfolk circuit sitting eighth in the championship standings and keen to continue his pursuit of recording a maiden win for Simon Belcher’s outfit.
Qualifying seventh for race one, Austin’s hopes of a podium were ended when contact at the right-front of his Toyota Avensis occurred when making a move down the inside of Tom Ingram on lap six, causing damage to the wheel assembly and suspension.
Producing a superlative drive from 27th to 17th in race two, the Northgate-backed racer found himself out of luck again in race three. Contact from behind on the opening lap as the field filed through Oggies sent Austin onto the grass and a passenger as he slammed into the side of Ashley Sutton’s Subaru Levorg.
Reflecting on what turned out to be a weekend to forget, Austin said: “I feel bad for the team, the sponsors and all our supporters for how the weekend ultimately turned out, it’s gutting to come away with one point when we had a car capable of the podium. Sometimes these weekends happen though.
“Having reviewed the video and data of the incident with Tom [Ingram] in race one, it’s a real shame – I can only assume he didn’t see me? I was fully alongside, on the apex, and I was even going slower than on previous laps.
“He’s turned in as though I’m not there and shattered my upright, sending us both off the track. I’m sure there was no intent and I agree with the officials it was a racing incident, but the outcome is such a shame. We had much better pace than the two cars in front of us and a podium was very possible.”
He added: “Race two was good, the first couple of laps were tough but good and I made a chunk of places but contact in the pack knocked my suspension out a bit and the car developed understeer which built through the race and limited my progress thereafter. As for race three, we had a package good enough to strongly progress into the top 10 but it wasn’t to be.”
Austin now looks to bounce back as the series heads north of the border to Knockhill on August 12/13.
Article originally written on Tuesday, 1 August 2017. Read more articles from the BTCC Crazy Archive.