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Rob Austin rues Silverstone miscalculation

Rob Austin was left to rue a miscalculation with the setup to his Audi A4, known colloquially as ‘Sherman’, as his recent run of good form came to an end at his local circuit of Silverstone.

After qualifying a lowly 19th for the opening race of the day, Austin recovered to finish 12th, just behind reigning Champion Gordon Shedden in the Honda Civic. This result came in spite of having the under steer issue which blighted his qualifying efforts.

Lining up 12th for race two offered Austin a chance of breaking into the top 10 and a chance of getting the reverse grid for the final race of the weekend.

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Race 2 lasted less than half a lap however as Austin was caught up in the midfield mêlée which left Sherman on the side of the track with damaged rear suspension.

“It just hasn’t gone our way here. We made a slight miscalculation with the set-up and it’s really told around such a short lap. The first race was OK-ish but race two… it was really the end of our day,” explains Austin.

Starting 23rd on the grid for round 27, Austin was able to work his way up the order to finish just outside the points in 17th place, despite the Audi A4 not being quite right for Austin.

“Yet again my mechanics did a fabulous job to repair Sherman in time for race three but we didn’t have time to give it all the checks we’d have liked and the car never felt quite right. The straight line speed was a bit down but the main thing was I couldn’t brake late as I kept locking wheels,” Austin continued.

With the season finale taking place on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix loop, Austin is hoping for a repeat of the form he had during the opening rounds on the Indy configuration of the Kent circuit.

“It’s a shame as I feel the potential was there for a much better day,” continued Austin. “I’ve got total faith in the car so now we look forward to the final rounds at Brands Hatch in a fortnight. We had a fantastic opening day of the season there in terms of performance on the Indy circuit but this time it will be on the full Grand Prix track which is a very different animal.

“We’ll have a good sit down and look at things and make Sherman good as new again for then and, hopefully, we can get back to the sort of front-running form we’ve had in the two rounds previous to here at Knockhill and Rockingham,” said Austin, who finds himself 10th in the overall Championship.

Away from the races, Austin also got to demonstrate his 1976 Surtees Formula 1 car during the lunch break – something the crowd appreciated.

“I knew the stands exiting Luffield corner in particular were very full so where better to stop and do a few donuts?” Austin concluded. “The car looks awesome and sounds awesome and the feedback has been tremendous. I’m sure it was a bit of an eye-opener for people who watch current F1 cars.”

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