Rob Austin marked Handy Motorsport's final race with the Toyota Avensis in triumphant fashion by clinching a maiden British Touring Car Championship race victory for the Independent outfit at the Brands Hatch finale.

Austin conquered the elements to win the final race of 2017 and end his three year victory drought, before his Handy Motorsport squad switches to the Alfa Romeo Giulietta for the 2018 season.

The 36-year old hadn't won a race since Rockingham 2014 but led every lap in the rain-soaked conditions to beat Eurotech Racing's Jack Goff by just over three seconds.

"I’m really happy with that," Austin told "I knew I had to get past Epps quite early before we got onto the back straight because the Volkswagen is so quick in a straight-line.

"When you get out in front and the car is under you, it’s the easiest job you’ll have. I did feel the like the longest race in the world but it’s the easiest place to be. Being in the pack is tough in this championship.

"I’ve got six-months of saying ‘you’re only as good as your last race!’ – I’m really happy with that."

Having taken part in a previous wet race at Brands Hatch in a Legends car, Austin said he was able to put the knowledge he gained from that race into practice during the season finale, despite admitting his fear with driving a FWD car in wet conditions.

"Honestly, I’ve done quite little in the wet in FWD. I find them terrifying! With a RWD car, if you brake a bit too hard, you lock up a wheel. In a FWD car, because the diff is so tight, you lock both front wheels and you stall the engine," Austin continued.

"I did a Legends race here last year when it was soaking wet. I figured out that on the inside of turn 3 there was masses more of grip, if you turn it tight enough, get on the inside and get the traction.

"I thought I’d give that a go and it worked. I got up the inside and I knew Epps could act as a blocker for a while. Even when Jack [Goff] got past, he didn’t seem to be catching us so I was comfortable.

"The car was mega. You can’t do it unless the car is under you and I was given a very good car."


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