Rob Austin to make guest appearance in Hot Rod National Championship
MEDIA RELEASE: Evesham racer Rob Austin will swap his rapid Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship Toyota Avensis for a potent Vauxhall Tigra ‘Hot Rod’ this summer, having confirmed his participation in the standalone Hot Rod National Championship at Hednesford Hills on 5th/6th August.
Handy Motorsport’s Austin, who is to mount a sustained front-running challenge in the BTCC this year during his second season with the Swindon team, has taken up the invitation from Hot Rod racer Mikey Godfrey to return to the category after a star appearance in 2015.
Austin, a two-time race winner in touring cars, took part in the one-off Motorsport News Trophy event a couple of years ago where he was one of six BTCC drivers competing in a special 10 lap dash at Spedeworth Motorsports in Ipswich, the curtain-raiser for the Thunder 500 Trophy.
Thoroughly enjoying his first ever outing in Hot Rods, Austin went on to compete in the remainder of the race meeting after Godfrey lent the BTCC fan-favourite his Tigra. Now, he’s relishing the chance to be back in action among the thrills and spills of Hot Rods.
“The National Hot Rod races are like BTCC races but without left-handers”, explained Austin, “They are close and action packed but, most of all, they are great fun so I’m really pleased to be invited back for another go. I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in.”
Mikey Godfrey added: “Rob loved his run in my car before and this was a chance to let him have another go. The Nationals is a strong event and he will be up against some top drivers, but he knows the cars and the formula now so I think he will have a great time. It will be rather odd watching from the sidelines and seeing someone go round in ‘my’ car though!”
Austin’s eclectic 2017 of track exploits got underway in victorious fashion at the recent Autosport International Show at Birmingham NEC. In the ‘Live Action Arena’, the Worcestershire racer was the fastest of a dozen BTCC drivers in a specially organised time trial.
Paired head-to-head, the participants put Ginetta GT4 Supercup cars through their paces in front of thousands of spectators and Austin emerged on top with a best time of 36.200 seconds – over 0.6 seconds faster than his closest challenger, former BTCC Champion Colin Turkington.
The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season will get underway over the weekend 1st/2nd April at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent. The annual ‘Media Day’ launch will take place at Donington Park in Leicestershire on Thursday, 16th March.