Team Exocet's Rob Austin believes his Audi A4 was good enough for P3 despite having already qualified a season's best seventh place for today's opening BTCC race at Croft.

Up until this point, 2015 hasn't gone according to plan for the Audi man after only achieving four top-ten finishes so far in the year.

However, Croft traditionally marks the beginning of an upturn in performance for Austin and Audi as the calendar moves into RWD territory.

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"I think P3 was definitely in the car yesterday," Austin told crash.net. "I'm over the moon obviously as it's my highest qualifying of the year. I'm also a little bit frustrated because I know there was more in it. As a driver all you want to do is max it out.

"There was quite a bit more in the bag. My theoretical, which you never really hit, says there was four-tenths left in the car. If you can get within two-tenths, you've done a good job.

"To be four-tenths off, there's definitely more in the car. We've still got a bit to find, though, to catch the BMW's."

Nevertheless, Austin - who still start the first race on the fragile soft tyre - admits he's taken a bit of gamble as the Exocet driver aims to 'buck the trend'.

"We figured race three was the safest option. In fact, we already put the form in for race three but I went back and changed my mind. We wanted to buck the trend," Austin continued.

"A lot of people have banked on it being wet this morning. I'm hoping the rain will stay away because that's what we've gambled on.

It's the safe sensible option to run the soft in race three here because the surface is so abrasive. Race one is all about is qualifying for race two. I'm hoping by that point all the WSR cars will be carrying weight and we'll probably be lighter having run the soft's in race one.

"You never know how it's going to play out with the softs but hopefully we can get a quick lap in. Hopefully for race three, if everyone's on softs and we're on the medium, we stand a very good shot."