RAR QUIETLY CONFIDENT WITH RE-ENGINEERED AUDIS
Rob Austin Racing drivers Rob Austin (Evesham) and Hunter Abbott (Maidenhead) are keeping quiet about their chances in this year’s Dunlop British Touring Car Championship after completing their first two days of testing of 2015.
Rob’s and Hunter’s Audi A4s – both in plain black livery – collectively racked up more than 300 laps of the Brands Hatch Indy circuit in Kent earlier this week, a venue which will host the BTCC’s opening three races of the new season in front of a huge trackside crowd and live ITV4 cameras on the weekend of Sat 4/Sun 5 April.
Currently the cars are being re-fettled at RAR’s Pershore base ahead of more testing during next Tuesday’s (24 March) high-profile BTCC Season Launch at Donington Park, Leics.
Rob said: “During the winter break we’ve developed some aesthetic changes which people will finally get to see on Media Day, but we have also re-engineered certain areas of the cars under the skin as well as restructuring our staffing and engineering team. Brands Hatch was our first chance to see it all come together.
“I was very happy with the two days, the team worked brilliantly and the cars ran faultlessly! We have a competitive car at Brands anyway and we have managed to improve it again as well as working to develop a very different set-up which we believe will bring us to the front at the circuits that we have historically struggled at.
“The new set-up requires further development which we will continue to work on at the Donington Media day. However progress so far has exceeded expectations which is exciting.”
Hunter added: “A lot of the changes for 2015 are fundamental and demonstrate a completely new philosophy on the dynamics of the vehicle. There’s more we can unlock from the Audi but it required a re-think. Sometimes to make a leap forward you have to take a step backwards and as a result we need to find our baseline set-up again.
“The two days at Brands Hatch were very productive. Rob and I tried very different things over the course of the two days to cover as many variables as possible in the timeframe we had. Next week at Donington we’ll take the best of what we found across both cars at Brands and start to converge them, working towards proving the new concept.”
PHOTO CREDIT: Phil Laughton