Rob Austin has joined forces with Handy Motorsport in a deal which will see the two-time BTCC race winner drive a new Toyota Avensis for the 2016 season.

Dovetailing with Austin's new alliance with Handy Motorsport, the 34-year old's existing personnel from Rob Austin Racing will also join the Toyota squad as part of the outfit's expansion.

Austin had already confirmed that 2015 would be his last campaign running the iconic Audi A4 following a five-year stint with RWD machinery, scoring memorable back-to-back victories at Rockingham in the process.

The newly signed Handy Motorsport driver is confident of springing a surprise this season in a car which he believes to be much more suited to the current crop of the regulations than his former Audi challenger was.

2016 will mark the first time in the series where Austin has stepped away from RWD to a FWD car.

"I'm really excited to be joining forces with Handy Motorsport", said Austin.

"The new car is a lot more suited to the [championship] regulations than my Audis were and through this deal we're combining the best bits of both teams. I think we should be able to do a really good job with the new Toyota and spring some surprises.

"There will be some adapting back to front-wheel drive but, as Colin Turkington [two-time BTCC Champion] has proved, if you can drive you can drive. It's bloody hard work organising the money, running a team, sorting the sponsorship and driving as well, so I'm looking forward to focusing on the thing I do best rather than spreading myself so thin. This really is a perfect opportunity."