EVESHAM race ace Rob Austin will be behind the wheel of an Alfa Romeo next season after his team brought the brand back to the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.

Swindon-based Handy Motorsport, headed up and owned by former BTCC driver Simon Belcher, will field a front-wheel drive Giulietta from 2018 piloted by Austin.

They struck a deal with the Alfa Romeo Dealer Council.

The brand, not been represented on the BTCC grid since 2007, has won the coveted drivers’ championship twice with Andy Rouse and Gabriele Tarquini.

Austin said: “I genuinely love the Alfa Romeo brand. I had an Alfa when I was younger and loved that car.

“We’ve always wanted this opportunity and we’ve got enough time ahead of next season to do this job properly.

“Even if I wasn’t driving it myself next year I’d be excited the Alfa name is going to be back in the BTCC.”