Rob Austin is aiming to make his HMS Racing Alfa Romeo Giulietta the top front-wheel drive car this weekend, as the British Touring Car Championship moves to Croft to complete the first half of the season.
Austin heads to Croft expecting challenging for outright podiums to be difficult, in particular given that the BMWs demonstrated strong form at Oulton Park and are now heading to their traditional strongest circuit.
On that basis, the 37-year-old has set himself modest goals for the weekend’s racing, as he seeks to move up in the championship standings from 17th overall.
“Oulton Park was a rear-wheel drive circuit which saw the BMWs get two out of three wins and a podium lock-out in race three,” said Austin. “But Croft hands the rear-wheel drive cars their biggest advantage of the season by far.
“With that in mind you have to be realistic and alter your expectations and, unfortunately, that means we are extremely unlikely to be challenging for a podium in race one.
“Once the success ballast comes into play, and with the reverse grid for race three combined with some luck, chances might open up, but I think our realistic target has to be to aim to be the top front-wheel drive car.”
Austin is hoping for a change in fortunes this weekend, after having been forced to retire from the final race at Oulton Park due to a mechanical failure.
“We really turned a corner with the car at Oulton and it felt great, there’s still more to come but we took a big step in the right direction and are absolutely on the right track now – I’m very excited for the rest of the season.
“I’ve said all along that the DUO Motorsport with HMS Racing boys have built an incredible car and once we hook it up it’ll be a winner.
“We are getting very close to hooking it up now, our tails are in the air and we are hungry for silverware!”