60TH ANNIVERSARY BRITISH TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP 2018

18.05.2018 GIULIETTA RETURNS TO BTCC ACTION THIS WEEKEND AT THRUXTON

ALFA ROMEO GIULIETTA - BRITISH TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP 2018

Thruxton, home track for the team running the Alfa Romeo Giulietta in the British Touring Car Championship, hosts the third race meeting of the season this weekend and the Swindon squad is determined to shine in front of its local fans.

Thruxton Circuit, the home track for the Alfa Romeo Giulietta-running British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) team DUO Motorsport with HMS Racing, hosts the third race meeting of the season this coming weekend (19-20 May) and the Swindon squad is determined to shine in front of its local fans.

Marking the first opportunity ‘hometown’ supporters of the race-winning BTCC team will have had to see the squad’s new Giulietta in race action, rounds seven, eight and nine of the campaign will also provide the sternest test yet for Rob Austin’s 2018 charger.

With pre-event testing at Thruxton having been limited to one day of practice last month, the team has very little mileage under its belt with the Alfa Romeo at the 2.35-mile Hampshire circuit which is far and away the quickest circuit on the touring car calendar.

As a track Austin absolutely relishes though, and somewhere the Evesham racer always gives maximum commitment and he can’t wait to put the Giulietta through its paces in a race situation at Thruxton where bravery is usually rewarded handsomely.

“We’re a little bit into the unknown going into the weekend”, said Austin, “We’ve only had limited running with our Alfa full stop, but hardly any running at Thruxton. It’s such a unique track and is so much faster than anywhere else, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. We did test last week at Snetterton and we certainly understand now where we went wrong at Donington.”

Due to the abrasive nature of the Thruxton track surface, and the extreme load on the tyres each and every lap, next weekend’s event is the only one on the BTCC calendar which doesn’t feature an ‘option’ tyre choice – hard compound Dunlop rubber is used throughout the race meeting.

With the Alfa Romeo still very much in the early stages of development, the removal of that variable for the upcoming event will be favourable for the team as Austin seeks to remain inside the championship top 10 and chalk-up more strong points finishes.

After earning an emotional maiden podium with the Giulietta during the season-opening event at Brands Hatch, last time out at Donington Park Austin battled back from a challenging qualifying session and contact in race two to post a pair of points finishes.

He added: “We’re obviously on the hard tyre all weekend at Thruxton, which requires certain settings to make it work properly. At the point we’re at now, still developing the car and with lots of work to do each weekend, not having to think about running another tyre choice will be beneficial.

“Our aim is to stay in the top 10 all weekend, we just want points and a solid run after the relative disappointment of Donington. If we get it right at the weekend, though, we can be near the front and that’s what we’ll be working to achieve.”

Photos: British Touring Car Championship 2018 - HMS Racing Alfa Romeo Giulietta

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Photo credit: BTCC & Handy Motorsport / 2018 Interfuture Media/Italiaspeed