Rob Austin to race Handy Motorsport Toyota in 2016 BTCC

Race winner Rob Austin will drive a Toyota Avensis in the British Touring Car Championship in 2016 after sealing a deal with Handy Motorsport

Rob Austin to race Handy Motorsport Toyota in 2016 BTCC

Austin will merge the crew from his Rob Austin Racing team with Simon Belcher's Handy Motorsport operation to contest his sixth season in the class.

The 34-year-old will drive a freshly-built chassis after having campaigned a rear-wheel-drive Rob Austin Racing-run Audi A4 since 2011.

"I'm really excited to be joining forces with Handy Motorsport," said Austin, who announced the deal at Autosport International on Thursday.

"Through this deal we're combining the best bits of both teams - I will have my regular guys working on the cars and I will have my engineer from 2015, Matt Taylor.

"We should be able to do a really good job with the new Toyota and spring some surprises.

"We are bringing some really good experience and knowledge together in one place, and that will hopefully bring us some strong results.

"There will be some adapting back to front-wheel drive but, as Colin Turkington [two-time BTCC champion] has proved, if you can drive you can drive. This really is a perfect opportunity."

Rob Austin Racing will continue to operate cars in other categories - including his previous Audi in the new B-TEC BTCC development series - and the Rob Austin Racing Owners Club, which is comprised of members of the public who have bought shares in the team, will continue unchanged in 2016.

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