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Austin hopes new deal will signal best season
ROB Austin Racing are hoping a major sponsorship deal will help give them their best season yet in the British Touring Car Championship.
The Pershore-based team struggled for funding last year but have agreed a deal with WIX Filters for the 2013 campaign.
With the addition of Will Bratt as a second driver, who only completed half of last season, it means RAR will have two rear-wheel drive Audi A4s at each of the 10 rounds, starting at Brands Hatch on March 31.
“The partnership with WIX is fantastic for us and will provide the stability we need to be able to concentrate on winning races,” said Austin.
“It also allows us to take big steps forward in the development of the car.
“I have always maintained that the potential is there to win races and this year we will show it.
“Certainly, 2013 promises to be an exciting year.
“I am really looking forward to the challenge of the BTCC.
“We will be there at every meeting and that will improve our consistency and our pace so I am hoping to be challenging for podiums.”
He added: “I feel very confident. There’s nobody on that grid more committed than me.
“From the moment I wake up to the moment I fall asleep, this is all I’m working on and thinking about. It drives my wife nuts. We work hard and we try hard on the track as well.”
This year will see the introduction of Dunlop’s new soft compound tyre at nine of the 10 meetings.
Teams using the Next Generation Touring Car — which includes RAR and Pershore rivals Honda Yuasa Racing, again led by defending champion Gordon Shedden and Worcestershire’s Matt Neal — will have to use them in one of three races at each track.
Drivers must nominate, prior to the Saturday qualifying session, which race they will use them in, but can use the standard compound tyre for the other two.
Neal added: “We’ll be in the mix again I’m sure. Our biggest opposition again is the regulations. We’ve won it two years on the trot and it’s almost like it’s someone else’s turn to win.
“But I think in a straight fight with the package we’ve got, the cars and the line-up, We are hard to beat.”