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Handy Motorsport hits Thruxton with confidence

Handy Motorsport head to Thruxton ‘with a lot of confidence’ this weekend, after driver Rob Austin scored the team’s best-ever British Touring Car Championship result last time out.

Austin finished eighth in the final race at Donington Park to take the Swindon-based team’s best finish in three years of racing in the BTCC, having earlier secured another top ten result.

With Thruxton also being the outfit’s home event, Team Principal Simon Belcher admits that spirits are high in the camp heading to this weekend’s race meeting.

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“We’re all really looking forward to being back at Thruxton,” said Belcher. “The team has a lot of unfinished business there and with Rob on board this season we go there with a lot of confidence and aiming to continue the good progress we’ve been making so far this year.

“Everyone knows Rob is a racer through and through, you need huge commitment at Thruxton with so much of the lap being flat-out and Rob has that by the bucket load.

“We took our first ever top ten at Brands Hatch and then bettered that last time out at Donington with an eighth place, so the top six and more is the target next weekend as we push on to keep moving forward.”

Austin himself has recently taken part in an attempt to cycle from London to Paris in order to raise money for the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund, with Austin having to pull out just 30 miles from the finish due to a flare-up of a tendon problem in his knee.

“It’s so frustrating I had to stop so close to the end because of the tendon,” said Austin of the experience. “I had to so we could avoid any big problems – we had to make sure it wouldn’t affect Thruxton.

“The guys at Freestyle 360 [one of Austin’s sponsors] put the ride on, I thought it’d be a good challenge and I wanted to support them and try and raise as much as possible for Pancreatic Cancer Research, a charity close to our hearts.”

Commenting on the coming weekend, Austin is looking forward to his first crack at the track in a front-wheel drive car, having previously only managed one top ten finish from 15 attempts at the circuit.

“I’m really looking forward to Thruxton,” added Austin. “It’s one of my favourite tracks – I like a circuit that rewards bravery and commitment.

“I’ve won in all sorts of stuff there, it’s definitely one of my strongest tracks and even though the Audi last year was a handful round there we still dragged it into the top 10. I’m very excited to go back to Thruxton for the first time in the BTCC with a car that’s competitive.

“We’re not making any predictions, we’ll just go there and do the best we can. The team has been working better and better every time we go out, at Donington in the last two races we had fastest laps in the top five so it’s all going the right way.

“If we can have a clean run in FP1 and a half-decent qualifying, we can race well from there and do something.”

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