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Austin: ‘With a clean run this weekend, we’ll be right up there’

DUO Motorsport with HMS Racing’s Rob Austin is hungry to realise the true potential of his Alfa Romeo Giulietta when the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship heads to Knockhill this weekend.

The maiden season for the squad’s Alfa has been tempered by a run of misfortune, limiting the team to one podium finish thus far. The team continues to work night and day to unlock the results it feels its efforts have deserved. 

“I love Knockhill, it’s one of my favourite tracks to drive, there’s always a great atmosphere and the guys at the circuit always do a great job of running the event,” said Austin. “I’ve been on the podium there quite a few times and I’ve never seen a crowd like it – it’s unique. 

“The potential is unquestionably there to visit the podium again, as it has been for some time now, but events outside our control have stopped us from demonstrating it.

“I would love to just have a clean, fair run at the weekend – if we do I’m sure we can be right up there.”

He added: “I’m starting to feel like a broken record saying our luck will change, so I think for this weekend we’ve got to manage our expectations, carry on giving it maximum effort and wait and see what fate delivers.”

While Knockhill is one of the shortest tracks on the calendar, just 1.27-miles, it is also one of the most spectacular with incredible corners such as Duffus Dip, the crested chicane, and Clark’s always posing a test to both man and machine.  

Austin’s something of a Knockhill specialist. He first raced there back in 1998 in the single-seater Formula Renault UK Championship and there are realistic hopes for one of the better weekends of the year for the team.

Famous for providing the most stunning vista on the entire BTCC calendar, with a view overlooking the Firth of Forth and the famous Forth Bridges, Knockhill is also renowned for the huge crowds and the incredible support they give to the touring car competitors.

Looking forward to the weekend, Team Principal Simon Belcher said: “As a driver I always loved Knockhill and I know Rob does too, the racing is great and so is the crowd. We’re just hoping the long trip north brings us the good fortune we have been missing recently.”

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