Hunter Abbott will undertake a second successive campaign in the British Touring Car Championship in 2015, after re-signing for Rob Austin Racing.
The former British GT racer was one of five rookies to compete in the series in 2014, scoring 20 points in his debut season which included two top ten finishes at Croft and Rockingham.
And Abbott was today (11 February) announced as the driver of the team’s second Audi A4 alongside team owner and driver Rob Austin, who had announced last week that his squad had signed a driver for the season ahead having previously expressed his desire to retain the 34-year-old’s services for a second year.
The pair’s 2015 machines are set to be unveiled at the series’ media day at Donington Park on 24 March.
Having learnt his craft in 2014, Abbott was confident that returning with the outfit would allow him to challenge for points on a more consistent basis.
“2014 was my first season in the BTCC and a learning year,” said Abbott. “The BTCC is like nothing else – the depth of competition and driving skill is among the highest of any motor racing championship in the world and you have to race harder and more ruthlessly than any other championship I’ve been in. Give an inch and someone will have a nose in there in a nano-second.
“I was happy to have finished in the points at my first ever BTCC event last year and the highlights for me were Rockingham and Croft where I overtook 17 cars in one race. With a year’s experience under my belt and the changes that Rob has made to both the team and the cars during the winter break I am really excited about returning for 2015. I’m going after consistently strong results across all 30 races and believe that podiums are a realistic target as well.”
Austin, who has promised a raft of aesthetic and technical updates to his pair of Audis for 2015, was also excited to see what Abbott could produce with a year of experience under his belt.
“The whole team is delighted to have Hunter back on board,” he said. “He is a great driver, a great guy, a great friend and everyone in the team loves him. He almost won the Jack Sears Trophy and overtook more drivers than any other rookie in 2014. There were some very strong results – I am confident he can become one of the stand-out names in touring car in 2015.
“Certainly we have been working damned hard behind the scenes to give Hunter a car that can enable him to fight for big results on a much more consistent basis – things will become clearer on that front in the coming weeks and certainly on Media Day when we unveil the Audis in full 2015-specification.
“Hunter’s determination is also helping me raise my own game. I felt I dropped the ball a few times in 2014 and do not intend doing that again this year – I’ve already lost 10kgs since November as part of a fitness regime I’m on.
“I’m not making any predictions about the season ahead. All I will say is I sense that we have a great opportunity and it’s up to us to maximise that.”