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Rob Austin relieved to be with ‘sensible people’

Rob Austin says that he is “relieved to be back with sensible people” around him after enjoying his strongest British Touring Car Championship qualifying session of the season so far at Oulton Park.

Austin qualified his Exocet Racing Audi in sixth position for the first of Sunday’s three BTCC races around the Oulton Park International circuit.

The Evesham racer had been in 11th at the time of the red flag stoppage, brought about with ten minutes remaining due to Adam Morgan crashing at Druids.

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Austin then improved his time in the final ten minutes once the session resumed, and admits that he is surprised to have done so, given his circumstances at the time of the lap.

“To be honest I’m surprised to be that high up, especially when there was a lot more left in the bag on that lap,” said Austin to TouringCars.Net. “I got held up behind Warren Scott and lost quite a bit behind him. I was pretty much giving up on it. I just didn’t think it was going to be a quick lap at all. I’m really pleased to see that it was. I’m also thinking about ‘what could have been’ – I think the top three could have been on the cards.”

Austin added that he expects to have a stronger car this weekend at Oulton Park, admitting that the previous rounds at Donington Park and Thruxton have not suited his Audi A4.

“Donington and Thruxton haven’t suited us and we knew we’d do better here,” added Austin. “We knew it was going to be slicks before the session so we went out to get heat into everything from an early stage. I was already onto my second set of tyres before the red [flag] so I knew it would take time to bring them in.”

The 33-year-old admits that he is pleased to be back at the front of the grid, with the “sensible people”.

“We’re certainly aiming at podiums this weekend,” said Austin. “We’ll just have to see what happens. I’m relieved to be back in a sensible position with sensible people around me.

“We tested here pre-season – we were strong – and I think we’ve been in the mix all day. We’ve got good pace  – my race pace has always been our secret weapon, so hopefully it will work out for us.”

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