Rob Austin ends Handy Motorsport’s Toyota association on a high

It was a race of firsts and lasts for Rob Austin in the season finale at Brands Hatch, securing his first win for three years and a maiden win for Handy Motorsport, in the final race for the team’s Toyota Avensis.

Austin led every lap of a sodden finale in the gloom in Kent, beating Eurotech Racing’s Jack Goff to the chequered flag by just over three seconds.

Thoughts now turn to the winter and a switch to a new model – the Alfa Giulietta, which the team plans to unveil at the Autosport Show in January.

Speaking to TouringCarTimes, Austin said: “It’s a big relief. The old line that you’re only as good as your last race will last me for a few months, which is nice!

“I am over the moon with it. The team gave me a great car, and those boys have done such an awesome job this year. I don’t think we’ve had the results we’ve deserved for all the work we’ve done.

“I knew I needed to get past Epps before we got onto the straight, because that thing just goes off down the straight. He fought hard, but I knew he would act as a blocker and off we went.”

Austin said he was expecting a closer fight in the race, and was pleasantly surprised to have clear mirrors for much of the extended 17 lap encounter.

He said: “I was hoping that nobody came through and they didn’t. It was lonely, and I was happy with lonely!

“I saw the Eurotech car [was behind] and they’re obviously very quick at the moment, so that was a bit of a worry. I went under the bridge and then I saw his lights appear, and that stayed the same, so I thought ‘OK, I’ve got this’.”

Austin ends the season in 11th place in the drivers’ championship on 174 points.