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Rob Austin to stand in for Mike Bushell at Thruxton

Power Maxed Racing has announced that Rob Austin will be a last-minute stand-in for the injured Mike Bushell in this weekend’s British Touring Car Championship races at Thruxton this weekend.

Austin will return to the grid for his first BTCC race since 2018 when he deputises for Bushell in Hampshire, becoming the second driver to take to the wheel of the team’s Vauxhall Astra this year.

Bushell was injured in a race three accident at Knockhill three weeks’ ago, suffering from ligament damage and a dislocated shoulder in the incident with Ollie Jackson and Sam Osborne.

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Following medical advice from the championship doctors, Bushell has been advised to take more time to recover before he next races.

Three-time race winner Austin will thus join the team for the first time, making his first BTCC start since campaigning HMS Racing’s Alfa Romeo Giulietta in the 2018 season finale.

“When I got the call from Adam [Weaver, PMR Team Principal], I just couldn’t say no,” said Austin. “I’ve seen how good the car can be around Thruxton, and I love the circuit.

“There are some hurdles to overcome; there’s the obvious new driver ballast that I’ll have to drag around with me, but I also haven’t driven competitively for nearly two years now, so I don’t know how rusty I will be.

“I will be doing everything in my power to overcome these as quickly as possible, and if I do a good job then there is every potential to show well come Sunday afternoon.”

Team Principal Weaver has a long-standing relationship with Austin, with both hailing from the same part of the world, and as such he was keen to work with Austin.

“Obviously a last minute drive change is less than ideal, but when it became obvious that Mike would be unable to drive this weekend, I was straight on the phone to Rob,” explained Weaver.

“We’ve had a great relationship for a while, having known each other since school and he’s known for being a fearsome driver that takes no prisoners when he’s on track.

“We’ve shown the pace of this car this year without question, albeit with bad luck marring results, and I’m really looking forward to seeing him get to grips with the car.

“We’re all keeping our fingers crossed for some luck this weekend!”

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