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Rob Austin Racing duo satisfied after first 2015 test

Rob Austin and Hunter Abbott were content after testing their pair of revised Audi A4s for the first time ahead of the 2015 British Touring Car Championship season.

The duo, who remain in an unchanged line-up for Austin’s eponymous squad, enjoyed a productive two-day test at Brands Hatch – which plays host to the opening round of the championship early next month – completing a combined total of more than 300 laps of the Kent circuit’s Indy configuration.

With significant changes to the squad and it’s cars taking place during the Winter off-season as they look to improve their performance across the whole of the BTCC calendar, the outing marked the team’s public debut with their 2015 challengers.

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But despite a late start to testing, with a number of their rivals having completed a series of tests before now, two-time race winner Austin drew plenty of positives from his and his teammate’s initial running.

“During the winter break we’ve developed some aesthetic changes which people will finally get to see on Media Day, but we have also re-engineered certain areas of the cars under the skin as well as restructuring our staffing and engineering team,” said the 34-year-old. “Brands Hatch was our first chance to see it all come together.

“I was very happy with the two days, the team worked brilliantly and the cars ran faultlessly! We have a competitive car at Brands anyway and we have managed to improve it again as well as working to develop a very different set-up which we believe will bring us to the front at the circuits that we have historically struggled at.

“The new set-up requires further development which we will continue to work on at the Donington Media day. However progress so far has exceeded expectations which is exciting.”

Echoing the sentiments of his teammate, Abbott believed that the decision to modify both cars was already starting to pay dividends.

“A lot of the changes for 2015 are fundamental and demonstrate a completely new philosophy on the dynamics of the vehicle,” he added. “There’s more we can unlock from the Audi but it required a re-think. Sometimes to make a leap forward you have to take a step backwards and as a result we need to find our baseline set-up again.

“The two days at Brands Hatch were very productive. Rob and I tried very different things over the course of the two days to cover as many variables as possible in the timeframe we had. Next week at Donington we’ll take the best of what we found across both cars at Brands and start to converge them, working towards proving the new concept.”

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