Photo: PSP Images

Chris Swanwick confirmed at Rob Austin Racing

17-year-old Chris Swanwick will make his BTCC debut for the final two rounds of this year’s championship for Rob Austin Racing in the team’s second and as yet unraced Audi A4.

The Nottingham-based driver has been competing in the Renault Clio Cup for Team Pyro this season after completing a partial season in the Ginetta Junior championship last year, both series on the British Touring Car Championship’s support package.

After a successful test at Pembrey for Rob Austin Racing in late July, Swanwick was confirmed as the team’s Junior Driver with an aim to be racing before the season’s out. After a second test with the team at Rockingham today, Team Principal and driver Rob Austin has confirmed to that he plans for Swanwick to race at Brands Hatch and Silverstone in October.

“Yeah, he really impressed us when we tested him at Pembrey,” said Austin to TouringCarTimes prior to today’s test. “We’ll see how he progresses. Obviously he’s very young so we don’t want to throw him in the deep end.”

The 17-year-old’s BTCC debut will come just three weeks short of his 18th birthday at Brands Hatch on October 2nd, making him the youngest driver in the championship since Tom Chilton’s maiden season in the championship in 2002 with Barwell Motorsport. Chilton’s first race was just two weeks after his 17th birthday.

Rob Austin confirmed the team’s second car was complete and ready to race and could be at Knockhill or Rockingham. After two strong runs at Croft and Snetterton, where Austin took the team’s first points in race two (Round 17) at Snetterton with the fastest lap and then a great drive from 23rd on the grid to the final points position of tenth in Round 18 showed the improved performance of the team’s Next Generation Touring Car specification Audi A4.