Rob Austin says he was left ‘licking his wounds’ after retiring from the final British Touring Car Championship race of the day at Oulton Park when his Alfa Romeo suffered from a differential failure.
Austin started the reverse-grid race from pole position and after losing out to the fast-starting BMW of Rob Collard at the beginning of the race, he held a podium position in second for the first eight laps.
However, heartbreak stuck on lap nine when the differential broke on his Alfa Romeo Giulietta, forcing the Evesham racer into retirement.
It means Austin and HMS Racing had just a pair of top ten finishes to take away from Cheshire, with Austin having finished tenth and seventh in the day’s first two encounters respectively.
“Although I’m still licking my wounds, there is a lot more to come from our Alfa which is very exciting,” said Austin. “At the end of the day we have the newest car on the grid, it’s done the least miles and we don’t have multiple engineers and another driver to share data with, so the progress we’re making is impressive.”
Despite missing out on the chance to score a first Alfa victory in over two decades, Austin remained upbeat from the weekend.
“There are still a huge amount of positives to take away from Oulton; we were fast this weekend and really feel we have turned another corner with the car and the set-up and I see no reason why we can’t continue this form.
“Race three was disappointing – the driveshaft is a control component we have to use and unfortunately the diff failed, but I can’t think of another mechanical failure we’ve had.
“There’s nobody to blame, the team worked brilliantly all weekend, and everyone did a fantastic job.
“To have been so competitive in the final race, keeping up with Rob who was on soft tyres in one of the quickest cars, and pulling away from Andy Jordan in another BMW was good going.
“It shows we had fantastic pace and that’s what we take forward.”