Rob Austin has praised HMS Racing for the standard to which his new-for-2018 Alfa Romeo Giulietta has been built on the eve of the new British Touring Car Championship season.
The triple BTCC race winner topped the timesheets at the official Season Launch a fortnight ago at Donington Park, but admitted the team have no idea as to where in the pecking order they stack up heading to Brands Hatch this weekend [7th-8th April].
Austin also believes his own personal preparations have been at their peak during the off-season, underlining the team’s ambition to become regular race-winners in 2018.
“I’m very excited to get back to racing after a long off season”, said Austin.
“The boys have produced a simply stunning car, built to the highest standard I have witnessed on the BTCC grid, and its already proven it has huge potential by topping the times at Media Day, in spite of only having a couple of days running prior to that.
“But it’s not just the car, I am fitter and better prepared than ever before and as a team we have upped our game in virtually every aspect. Our new VIP hospitality suite is a shining example of the exceptionally high standards we are working towards at every level of the team. It’s a very exciting time for us and this is only part-way through our long-term game plan.”
“So, while we are going to Brands with aspirations of winning everything, as every single team and driver is, or else why would we bother, we have to be realistic and right now we really don’t have a clue how we will fare against the competition at the weekend.
“The fact is our car is brand new, only three days old, and although it clearly has huge potential it’s still very raw.
“Brands is a very different circuit to Donington and demands different things from the car to be quick. If we can’t hook it up, no matter how much potential it has, it’s not going to produce the lap times. So, we are managing our expectations until we get on track and see what our starting point is like.
“Obviously, I’m really hoping it’s enough as I would love nothing more than to start this season as we finished the last and reward the team’s incredible efforts in building this stunning new Alfa Romeo.”