- Stunning Exocet & AlcoSense livery on team’s striking Audi race cars
- Rob Austin: “We have never been so well prepared”
In front of more than 200 media Rob Austin Racing has today unveiled its line-up for 2014’s Dunlop British Touring Car Championship with plenty of exciting changes for the season ahead in which the Worcestershire squad hopes to build on its breakthrough race-winning performance of last year.
RAR drivers Rob Austin (Evesham) and Hunter Abbott (Maidenhead) pulled the wraps off their Audi A4 race cars – fondly nicknamed Sherman and Panzer – at Leicestershire’s Donington Park circuit during the BTCC’s annual pre-season Media Day launch.
- Rob Austin’s Audi will race under the Exocet Racing banner in deference to leading fuel additive manufacturer Fast’s sponsorship of the team via its Exocet product
- Team Principal Rob Austin has swapped his trademark race number 13 for 101 to highlight Fast’s latest mind-blowing, octane-boosting fuel additive called Rush 101 (aimed at track day enthusiasts)
- Hunter Abbott has joined the team for his debut season in Britain’s premier motor racing championship with sponsorship from the UK’s number one consumer alcohol breathalyser brand, AlcoSense
- His Audi is entered under the Alcosense Breathalysers Racing banner
- Pole Position, YouTube’s leading independent motor sport channel, has become official media partner to the team
- Fast Exocet will support highly popular BTCC-themed radio show Tin Top Tuesday with a regular slot on every programme called ‘Garage 101’
- Rob Austin will write a ‘warts and all’ race blog for BTCC Teams Championship sponsor HiQ’s hiqonline.co.uk website
Notably today’s launch has also enabled the media to see for the first time the stunning livery on the roof of Rob Austin’s Audi – images from fans who have invested in the team’s unique Rob Austin Racing Owners Club scheme which allows the public to buy shares in a BTCC race team. See www.robaustinracing.co.uk for more details.
Following a frenzy of media activity in the morning – with a mix of national, lifestyle, trade, consumer and specialist titles covering TV, radio, print and online – the team will this afternoon concentrate on a four-hour official BTCC test session on the Donington race track.
The Pershore-based outfit will then head south for more testing tomorrow (Wednesday) at the Silverstone circuit in Northants. Then it’s back to base where thorough final preparations will be made ahead of the new BTCC season at the iconic Brands Hatch circuit in just 11 days’ time on the weekend of Sat 29/Sun 30 March.
Brands Hatch marks the first of this year’s ten BTCC race weekends which will play to Premier Division-sized crowds at the best race circuits around the UK – as well as a huge audience tuning into ITV4’s live coverage of each event.
Neil Ryding, Managing Director of Fast which has embarked on a two-year title sponsorship of RAR in the BTCC, commented: “Everything we have seen since announcing our commitment to Rob Austin Racing two months ago has already exceeded expectations – massive additional awareness of who we are and our products, a fantastic engineering partnership with one of the BTCC’s top teams and, in particular, the ‘king of cool’ himself Rob Austin becoming the face of our Exocet and Rush products.
“Our sponsorship of course forms a major part of our marketing strategy – the BTCC is the perfect arena in that respect but we also believe no other driver-team combination has the ability to communicate our message as effectively to the millions of public who follow the action. Just like RAR, Fast is set for rapid expansion in the two years and we look forward to some very exciting and successful results together, both on and off the track.”
Kevin Monks, PR and Marketing Manager at AlcoSense added: “Rob Austin Racing is clearly the fans’ favourite team and can’t be beaten in terms of media value. Working with Rob and Hunter we hope to raise awareness of how easy it is to unintentionally drink drive the morning after and help increase road safety by giving the fans the tools to tell when the alcohol’s cleared after a good night!”
Rob Austin said: “The season can’t come soon enough for us – a stable and loyal title sponsor in Fast, major input from DUO plc and AlcoSense, a fantastic media partnership with Pole Position plus, for the first time in our history, an extensive pre-season testing programme of our cars means we’ve never been anywhere near as well prepared as this before. All the data suggests we’ve moved the Audi’s performance forward in terms of raw pace over both a single lap and a race distance.
“We had some great results in 2013 – leading races, fastest laps, our first pole position, our first win – and that’s given everyone an added boost going into 2014. But equally we’re all aware we can’t live off past glories – you do that in the BTCC and you get eaten alive. All I know at the moment is that the Audi has never felt as good, we have the best sponsors, partners and fanbase of any team on the grid – and I actually defy anyone to prove me wrong on that – as a team we’re functioning better than ever, in Hunter Abbott I’ve got a very talented rookie team-mate and, in 23 years of competition, I’ve never been so excited for a season’s racing.”