Rob Austin is hoping that the Rockingham Motor Speedway will be kind to him this weekend when the British Touring Car Championship arrives in Corby, with the HMS Racing driver aiming for a first podium since the season opener.
A run of mixed form in recent events has seen the Alfa Romeo driver claim just three top ten finishes in the past 15 races, and suffer from a spate of unfortunate retirements.
Austin is hoping that run of ‘bad luck’ will end at Rockingham this weekend, as he takes on the venue of four of his 17 podium finishes in the BTCC.
“Rockingham has been kind to me over the years”, said Austin. “Having won there twice previously I am determined to get another win on, what could potentially be, the last time the BTCC ever visits the venue.
“The potential is absolutely in the car, team and myself to do it and this painful run of bad fortune that has been devastating our race weekends of late is long overdue a change.
“I will be doing everything in my power to end this bad run and start rewarding our incredible sponsors, fans and team with silverware.”
Despite not having raced the Giulietta around the Corby circuit, Austin is expecting the characteristics of the track to suit the HMS Racing-developed car.
“I think the DUO Motorsport with HMS Alfa Romeo Giulietta will suit the Rockingham circuit and after feeling slightly lost with the setup early in the season, we are now on the right track and the car is better and faster every time I get in it now.
“My confidence in the engineering abilities and preparation standards of the team has never been higher so I know I’m going to be given a fantastic car on the day.
“I’ll have to put the ill fortune we have faced over the last few rounds behind me, get on with the job and convert it in to some silverware.”
Team Principal Simon Belcher has set an ambitious target for the closing part of the season to add to the one podium the car has taken so far in 2018.
“We are focused on getting the Alfa back on the podium,” added Belcher. “We must seize every opportunity between now and the end of the season.
“Anything less than podiums and it will be a disappointment for us as we know it is in Rob and the car.
“Some drivers are now starting to look at the championship, but we are concentrating on realising our true performance, no matter what.
“Nothing would be better than to find our form at Rockingham where, last year, we announced we would be bringing the Alfa Romeo brand back to the BTCC.”