About Rob

Rob Austin

Rob Austin is a UK born, 36 year old racing driver currently in his 7th season competing in Britain's premier motor sport championship, the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC)
The BTCC is by far the most popular motor sport in the UK with millions of viewers on TV and hundreds of thousands attending track side and with his down to earth honesty, passion for the sport and his determined driving style combined with incredible car control Rob has won the hearts of large percentage of the BTCC's impressive fan base and is widely acknowledged as the "fans favourite"
This popularity has stemmed from many hard fought podiums and wins taking the fight to the larger manufacturer backed teams in his privateer, family run Audi A4 known as Sherman. After a tough 2015 season with Sherman starting to show his age, in a bid for long term success Rob merged his team with Handy Motorsport (HMS) for the 2016 season. They now compete under the HMS banner but maintain the same family ethics that brought so much success on their own. The move has seen a steep learning curve to adapt to a new environment and machinery but during the second half of the 2016 season the new HMS trophy collection began to grow and the season ended with Rob starting from a front row qualifying position and taking home even more trophies.
Rob and his loyal team are now fantastically positioned for a thrilling 2017 season.      

Joining Handy Motorsport

This was a difficult time for Rob and the team. Rob Austin Racing was 12 years old and many of its staff had been there since the beginning, but with Sherman getting old and huge investment being required to keep him competitive the options were limited. After meeting Simon Belcher (HMS Team Manager) it was clear that he shared the same goals, passion and family values that the Robs team had stood for and was willing to welcome Rob and his long serving team in to his family and where he was weak Rob's team was strong and vice versa, it seemed like the perfect partnership. One year on and that has proved to be the case.

BTCC History

Rob Austin Racing (RAR) was 8 years old when the new NGTC regulations were created for the BTCC in 2011. With a host of control parts the new regulations (which all current cars still run to) brought the championship within the teams reach and having dreamed of entering the BTCC for many years they seized the opportunity, but in typical Austin fashion, the much trodden path of small FWD cars was not the one they chose. Instead they exploited a loop hole in the regulations built a rear wheel drive Audi A4 which was dubbed Sherman. After an incredibly challenging start the team with Rob at the wheel reached the podium in their first season and although Sherman struggled at some circuits he, Rob and the RAR team experienced great success over the first 5 years of their BTCC career. To have built and engineered a car from scratch and won races in the most competitive tin top championship in Europe against much bigger manufacturer backed teams is something the whole team are extremely proud of.

Pre-BTCC

Rob started out karting when he was just 10 years old and after finishing 6th in his first full season at national level and runner up in his second season he moved in to cars to become the youngest ever winner of a national car race.
He then started to climb the incredibly competitive ladder to formula 1 and entered the British Formula Renault championship, his second season saw him racing against the likes of Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Pizzonia. Rob went on to finish runner up to Pizzonia before a road accident left him with serious injuries and unable to compete during the 2000 season.
A return to racing in 2001 and a step up to British Formula 3 with a new team was a tough challenge but Rob stuck it out to be in contention for the championship a couple of years later. Sadly a broken hand whilst rugby training put an end to his championship hopes.
Several guest races in Formula 3 followed including a call up from Japanese manufacturer Dome. But despite race wins and numerous podiums and beating drivers such as Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Nelson Piquet and many more it just wasn't to be for Rob and funding dried up. After a final Formula 3000 test where he outpaced Nico Rosberg led to nothing Rob took the decision to change direction completely and RAR team was born. 
Starting out running a single Ginetta G20 by the end of their second season the team were running 6 cars for customers and Rob was reserve driver, winning whenever he got the chance to get behind the wheel.
Ginettas introduction of the G50 in 2008 led to the RAR team to running an additional two cars in the Ginetta GT Super Cup (as it's now known) and another in the British GT4 Championship in which Rob partnered Hunter Abbott. After Hunter very literally destroyed the entire car at the first round of the championship (check it out here) the pair went on to outscore everyone during the rest of the season and come very close to winning the championship.
Following on from there the team ran a pair of cars in the Ginetta in the European GT4 championship finishing 1st and 6th.
Fancying a change of direction and still seeking something that felt like home the team ran a number of historic Formula one cars again with Rob at the wheel, this led to many more victories but it still wasn't home for Rob and his team... Then the NGTC regulations were released and nothing would ever be the same again.
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