Rob Austin stays with Handy Motorsport for 2017 BTCC season

Rob Austin will remain in the British Touring Car Championship at the wheel of the Handy Motorsport-run Toyota Avensis in 2017

Rob Austin stays with Handy Motorsport for 2017 BTCC season

The two-time race winner, who was on the podium three times last year, will remain with the Japanese car for a second season.

Austin drove a front-wheel-drive car in the BTCC for the first time in 2016 and says that the lessons learned from the previous 12 months will help him move forward this year.

"Firstly, I'm obviously very happy to be part of Handy Motorsport again for the new BTCC season", said Austin.

"We always knew there would be a learning curve relating to all aspects in 2016: driving, engineering, management and personnel.

"The BTCC is so competitive, all of these aspects have to be perfect to get to the front and I will admit it took longer than I expected.

"Our continuous improvement each time out through the second half of last season, though, capped off with a front row qualifying and a great podium at one of my weakest tracks [Brands Hatch GP] to round the year off, shows that we just about got there in the end.

"There is no reason that form won't continue, so it's exciting to be going into the 2017 season with a car that can win.

"We have some exciting new partnerships in place and have retained the fantastic support from our existing partners, I can't wait to show them off together with our exciting new livery at the Autosport International Show [on Thursday]."

The Handy Motorsport operation, which was tended by Speedworks Motorsport in 2016, has moved into its own premises for 2017. The team will be fielded from Handy's Swindon base as a standalone entry.

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