Rob Austin declared himself pleased with a solid start to his pre-season testing programme ahead of the new Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season.

Austin spent a day on track at Silverstone yesterday [Friday] at the wheel of his Exocet Racing-entered Audi A4, which has been rebuilt over the winter alongside the sister car that will again be run by his Rob Austin Racing team.

Despite damp conditions at the Northamptonshire circuit, Austin was able to enjoy a solid day on track at the wheel of the un-liveried Audi and said he was confident of a strong year ahead with a proper testing programme in place for the first time.

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"We're already ahead of the game," he said. "Sherman has run perfectly straight out of the box and just feels more sorted than ever. The team have done a brilliant job in the build of the car - it's a real work of art.

"Even though it's been wet and cold here at Silverstone, we've still gathered some valuable data and worked through a number of set-up changes which have told us a lot. Plus, as a driver, it's great to blow away the cobwebs. This is the first time our team has had the luxury of a proper pre-season testing programme for touring cars - we have another six or so test days still to come - and I'm delighted by where we are already."