BTCC suspends one of Rob Austin Racing's TOCA BTCC licences

The British Touring Car Championship has suspended one of Rob Austin Racing's TOCA BTCC Licences after Hunter Abbott skipped the Knockhill races to attend the birth of his first child

BTCC suspends one of Rob Austin Racing's TOCA BTCC licences

Series regulations state a stand-in driver must replace a team's full-time entry if they are unable to participate in a round, or the team's TBL will be withdrawn.

Two teams - Welch Motorsport and Support our Paras Racing - have lost TBLs in the last month because they breached the regulations for reasons that did not count as force majeure.

Owing to the circumstances surrounding Abbott's absence, the championship has opted to suspend the second RAR TBL for the rest of the season - with the team being granted a second entry for the remaining races - rather than remove it permanently.

A TOCA statement read: "Due to the withdrawal from the Knockhill championship meeting of car #54 (Exocet AlcoSense) under extenuating circumstances, the administrator has suspended the TBL associated with that entry for the balance of the season.

"The entry remains valid for the remaining championship races."

Abbott had planned to miss Knockhill to be with his partner in case their child was born over the race weekend.

But a deal for a stand-in fell through late on and Abbott duly committed to taking part in the races in the belief he would be able to do so and then travel to the hospital.

However, his partner went into labour in the early hours of Sunday morning and Abbott travelled straight from Edinburgh to London long before the BTCC race day began.

Rob Austin would not comment on the TBL situation, but told AUTOSPORT: "We had a deal 90 per cent done and it fell through, leaving us no time to find a suitable replacement.

"He's had a boy, I've taken the liberty of calling it Rob and expect to be named godfather soon...

"We're just really happy for Hunter and have another member of our team - and we are genuinely sorry for the fans his car has sat in the garage instead of racing."

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