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Rob Austin ‘very happy’ with Knockhill qualifying

Rob Austin was delighted with his performance in British Touring Car Championship qualifying at Knockhill, after securing a row three starting position for tomorrow’s opening race.

At what has traditionally been a strong circuit for the Audi driver, Austin hauled his A4 into sixth place during the 30-minute session, three-tenths shy of Andy Priaulx’s pole lap.

Reflecting on his best qualifying effort of the season, the 34 year-old was pleased with his exploits and remained confident of a strong showing in Sunday’s three races.

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“I’m very happy with that and I don’t believe it was the best lap I could have done either,” commented Austin. “We’ve opted to run the soft compound tyre in race one which could be very good for us if it stays dry as it’s a driver’s fastest lap in race one that decides their starting position for the race two grid.

“We’ve also found in the two earlier free practice sessions we’re able to turn in consistently fast laps so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

Qualifying didn’t run as smoothly for Austin’s team-mate Hunter Abbott, who ended the session in 21st,  but he took solace from the pace that the duo had shown in the day’s practice sessions.

“That was a frustrating session for me for a number of reasons and when I was perhaps on for my absolute best another car came out of the pit lane and delayed me,” he said. “Also my best lap on the timesheets is 52.437s but we maybe need to look at some data as our best time was disallowed for exceeding track limits – just so we know for certain that the correct lap has been disallowed. Particularly because the times are so close – it could make the difference between P21 or P15.

“As for tomorrow we know we have excellent pace over a long distance with the tyres so we’ve got everything to fight for.”

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