Season’s best qualifying for Rob Austin

Rob Austin qualified a season’s best seventh fastest and Rob Austin Racing team-mate Hunter Abbott 15th for the first of Sunday’s three headline Dunlop British Touring Car Championship races at Croft Circuit.

Rob’s best lap time of one minute 24.582 seconds in his Exocet AlcoSense Audi was just 0.118s off third place on the grid at the North Yorkshire circuit, although the team owner and driver believes a busy race track cost him of an even better position.

“I’m not saying we had the pace to challenge for pole but third was definitely on so while I’m happy with my best qualifying performance so far in 2015 it is still a bit frustrating,” he said.

“The reason I’m not higher is simple – traffic. Still we are towards the front and we know we have very good race pace with our tyres, particularly if the weather conditions stay nice and warm as they have been today. Then again there is a forecast for rain…”

Hunter’s best lap time was 1m25.247s. He said: “I was very badly baulked on a couple of laps when I was on course to improve quite a bit, probably to the tune of half a second. I should have been about a quarter of a second off Rob’s best which would have put me on the fringes of the top ten.

“But I’m quite happy with our set-up and think there’s a good chance of decent points in all three races tomorrow.”

The RAR Audis will be part of today’s bumper 30-car Dunlop BTCC grid. The races take place at 12.00pm, 2.35pm and 5.05pm with all three contests being shown live on ITV4.


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