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Rob Austin focused on improving qualifying performance

Rob Austin is targeting an improved qualifying performance at Donington Park this weekend as the Handy Motorsport prepares for the second round of the 2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.

As expected, the series opener at Brands Hatch a fortnight ago brought Austin and Simon Belcher’s Swindon-based outfit their best championship results to date, with the two-time race winner claiming a brace of points finishes in 14th and 11th after retiring from the first contest with damage.

However, Austin felt the downfall of the team came in qualifying around the tight 1.2 mile Indy circuit, with his Toyota Avensis lining up just 15th whilst the near-identical Speedworks model of Tom Ingram lined up on pole position and would later win the first race.

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“We have to get qualifying right at Donington, that’s where everything went wrong at Brands,” admitted Austin.

“I thought there was more time in me after practice but we should have gone the same direction as Tom [Ingram] and Speedworks with the set-up. They showed what the car is capable of.

Despite being a little frustrated with the start to his maiden campaign in front-wheel drive machinery, Austin is pleased with the chemistry between him and his new surroundings, and also believes the team can improve further on their strong Media Day showing at Donington, in which they were third fastest after leading a portion of the session.

“Everyone at the team is doing a great job, though, we’re all gelling well and making good steps forward. I’m still learning the front-wheel drive but confidence is high for Donington and Media Day there obviously went well for us. Nobody wants to look bad on Media Day but you never want to show your full hand either so we’re feeling pretty confident…”

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