Rob Austin Racing BTCC team to drop Audi A4s in 2016

Rob Austin's race-winning British Touring Car Championship team will not field its brace of Audi A4s in the series next season

Rob Austin Racing BTCC team to drop Audi A4s in 2016

Austin, a race winner in British Formula 3, made his BTCC debut in 2011 when his eponymous team introduced the A4 as part of the first batch of then-new NGTC machinery.

He took his first win in 2013 at Rockingham before repeating the feat last season, but he and team-mate Hunter Abbott have struggled this year, with Austin 13th in the points with a best finish of fifth.

It is understood the long wheelbase and high base weight of the A4s have often compromised the team and Austin told AUTOSPORT there was "no incentive to come back" with them next season.

"We won't be running it next year," he said of the Audi.

"We've had to redesign the shell, it's on its third subframe and rocker mounts - we thought we were getting round it but this year shows we aren't.

"The team is working really well, given the right base car we'd be competitive.

"I just want to go racing without a hand behind my back."

Austin claimed Oulton Park, where he qualified 16th despite feeling there was "nothing left on the table" in his driving was his "realisation" the Audi had to go.

He suggested the BTCC's NGTC update package, details of which are expected soon, would not be enough to warrant continuing with the A4 because they would be expensive to implement and the fundamental issues of the Audi would remain.

"It depends on the updates, but we want to build two new cars," he said.

"I'm hoping to get manufacturer support but I suppose everyone is.

"We'll look at anything - it doesn't matter what badge is on it. Front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive, whatever suits the regulations best."

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