Rob Austin Racing endured a trying day at Thruxton after a late delivery of their engine prevented them from running in FP1 and FP2 and an off in qualifying which has left them with a significant amount of repair work ahead of tomorrow’s first race.
After damaging both their engines at Donington the team was forced to sit out races two and three. One of these engines was to be delivered for this morning’s FP1 session but problems on the dyno and delays in the Eurotunnel meant that it did not arrive at the track until after the end of the session. The Rob Austin Racing team worked hard to get the engine fitted, not participating in FP2. Austin had the following to say to TouringCarTimes on the team’s engine issues: “We obviously had the engine problems at Donington so we sent the engines back to Lehmann in Lichtenstein. He blew up two on the dyno. He just about got one to run and then damaged it on the dyno. Even though Lehmann have damaged the engine on their dyno we seemed to be running ok.”
After the hard work put in by the Rob Austin Racing team to get the car out for qualifying it was heartbreak for the team in the dying minutes of the session after Austin went off track at Goodwood. Austin, who finished the session in 17th, was understandably dejected: “I just don’t think the gods want us to go racing. I thought maybe Neate had dropped some oil. I don’t know if it was that or just a damp patch. The back just went round, there’s wasn’t an awful lot I could do about it. I don’t remember the last time I dropped a car like that on my own. I haven’t picked a good time to do it. I don’t know if it’s fixable. I just don’t know what we’re going to do from here on in. It’s just gutting when you work so hard, to throw it all away in a second it’s heartbreaking.”
In spite of enduring what turned out to be a disastrous day Austin still thinks the team have a chance tomorrow: “I still think we could win it. I do think it’s possible; the car is good I just messed up in those conditions and picked the worst time to do it. If we can get a little bit more power out of the engine, it holds together and if we can repair the car we could win it. It’s possible to overtake here, it’s not bad in a straight line anyway and I like the circuit. It’s possible. I don’t know I feel like going home at the moment. I might retire from motorsport today and see how I feel tomorrow. I think I might give up on the number 13!”