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Rob Austin chasing strong results at Snetterton

Rob Austin was quietly confident about his chances of scoring well at Snetterton, as the British Touring Car Championship resumes this weekend following the series’ mid-season break.

The Evesham-based driver comes into the event 14th in the standings with one podium to his name, but in full strength having had time to recover from a tortuous visit to Croft where he scored just three points when he had expected to run strongly.

And with the car at full strength heading to Norfolk, Austin was determined to put both the last meeting’s events and his visit to the circuit last year behind him, as he looks to regain lost ground in the championship.

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“I made a mess of Snetterton 12 months ago and felt that I had let everyone down,” said Austin. “This time I am determined to put that right and make sure we go on a run of three very strong race events in a row – Snetterton, Knockhill and Rockingham. Above all I want to do it for my boys who’ve done a terrific rebuild job but of course all our great sponsors and fans too who again have given us nothing but tremendous support all the way.

“Snetterton isn’t our absolute strongest circuit but we have a great chassis and a great engine so it has the potential to be very good still. And while we lack a little in a straight line compared to the manufacturer cars we make up for that with determination so I think podium results could be on the cards if we get a good run at it.”

Austin felt that he was on the receiving end of some contemptuous driving last time out at Croft, but pledged to step up his on-track aggression in the second half of the season.

“I have been knocked around a lot this season, the victim of other drivers’ poor driving. But I believe that within reason you make your own luck so I have been analysing the incidents we have been involved in.

“The only way I can see to stop it happening is to be more aggressive! I pride myself on being a clean and fair racer so it’s not how I like to race, but in relying on other competitors to give me racing room and trying to avoid contact people seem to be taking that as an open invitation to cause an incident and blame me and that’s got to change.”

Despite the disappointment of last year’s visit, the trip to Norfolk is one that the Audi driver enjoys, particularly given the atmosphere.

“From a driver’s point of view I preferred the old Snetterton track as it was much faster and flowed better. However, although we do less laps per race on the 300 track the fans these days get a much better view of the action particularly through the twisting infield section – and it is always the fans who are the most important people at BTCC events.

“The camping atmosphere at Snetterton is also really special. I went to watch the bands play last year and couldn’t believe how big the campsite was – it was a fun evening and it’ll be bigger and even better this time.”

The first race of the day will also mark his eponymous team’s 100th race as a BTCC outfit, but Austin was cautious of making any bold statements before the team hit that figure.

“Let’s get to 100 first! Then I’ll have a think about it,” said the 33-year-old. “But it’s fair to say that the difference comparing where we are now to where we were when we first arrived in touring cars in 2011 is immense in every aspect. Let’s hope we have a nice result to talk about…”

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