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Austin: ‘We’re learning with every lap’

Duo Motorsport with HMS Racing’s Rob Austin left Donington Park inside the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship top ten after a weekend spent making the most of the tools at his disposal, as work continues apace on his new Alfa Romeo Giulietta.

After a dream start for the outfit back at Brands Hath, where Austin secured a podium finish in round three, the weekend’s racing in Leicestershire didn’t go entirely the way of the Swindon squad.

Austin endured a difficult qualifying session but battled through from 20th on the grid and into the points with 15th in race one. Recovery was the main aim in race two after contact saw him spiral down the field. Twenty-first was the end result but the Evesham racer was able to bookend his weekend with more points and 11th in the final round of the day.

“It was a tough weekend but at least we could take lots of positives away as well,” said Austin. “We are not where we want to be with the car at all yet but the potential is clear and I have no doubt that once we get on top of it, this car will be a regular race winner.”

“With a bit more time to analyse the data after qualifying we are confident we know where we went wrong but, as we keep saying, this is a brand new car so we’re constantly learning with every lap. You’re not going to get it right every time when you’re still learning, but it’s important we understand what the problem was.

“In race one I had a really good start and made good progress, but as everyone else got up to pace and I was already maxed out it was clear we didn’t have the pace we needed to stay in that position. We made some significant changes for race two and we were still set for a really good points haul, right up until I was turned around at the chicane. 

“The changes worked really well so the car was quick in that race and a top 10 would have been comfortably achievable, maybe even the top six but it just wasn’t to be. We’ve taken some positives from race three too, we were generally the quickest runner of the 14 cars on the hard tyre and to come from 21st to 11th with those tyres on, I think we have to be happy with that.”

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