EVESHAM racer Rob Austin believes Handy Motorsport can achieve podium success in this weekend’s Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship rounds at Oulton Park.
Confidence is high in the team ahead of the annual trip to Cheshire after their most consistent points haul of the season at Thruxton.
As well as racking up a brace of top-five finishes as part of a hat-trick of top 10 results last time out, Austin also confirmed his increasing competitiveness in a front-wheel drive touring car by securing a fifth fastest time in qualifying at Thruxton.
“I’m really looking forward to Oulton,” said Austin.
“I think it’ll be another strong circuit for us like Donington and I really will be trying to challenge for the front row on the grid in qualifying.
“I think that’s achievable. Oulton Park provides a great opportunity for us to score well and, hopefully, get back onto the podium so that’s what we’ll all be working towards.
“I really want to win a race because it has been a long time. Oulton is a track which should suit our car so we’re all going there feeling positive, especially after the competitive showing we delivered at Thruxton which was our weakest track of the season.”
Going into the fourth event, Austin is ninth in the outright championship standings and inside the top four in the Independents Trophy.
Halfords Yuasa Racing team-mates Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal have pinpointed qualifying form as the key to a strong showing.
There was no touching the two Honda drivers in qualifying at Thruxton as a front row lockout of the starting grid paved the way to a trio of top four results for Shedden and a 60th BTCC victory for Neal – drawing the three-time champion level with tin-top legend Andy Rouse on the all-time winners’ list.
Shedden enters the weekend sitting second in the standings, with Neal aiming to haul himself up the order from seventh.
Shedden said: “Oulton Park is great fun to drive, but I’m fully expecting a tough weekend – probably one of our toughest. With it being so difficult to pass at Oulton, qualifying could be make-or-break so I’ll really need to dig deep to pull something special out of the bag.”