HMS Racing's Rob Austin has admitted his frustration in qualifying outside of the top-ten ahead of today's first British Touring Car Championship race, but is still eyeing progress from eleventh at Oulton Park.

Austin posted the Alfa Romeo Giulietta's joint best qualifying result with eleventh in yesterday's 30-minute shootout, but the HMS Racing driver felt he could have fought for the top-two rows, after electing to play it safe with the FWD challenger's set up.

The three-time BTCC winner had shone in free-practice but failed to improve on the time he set during FP1. 

"I wanted to fight for pole yesterday," Austin told "I wanted to be on the first two rows. It’s a little bit frustrating because that’s where we’re aiming for. We’ve got to be patient. We’re learning and we’ll get there.

"We’re definitely spiralling in on the sweet spot of the car. We probably should’ve had more faith in ourselves yesterday. We made a couple of changes, which weren’t 100% sure about so we want back towards what we thought would be safe for qualifying.

"That meant everyone moved on and we didn’t. But we’re definitely getting there and we’re definitely learning. It shows that the potential is in the car. When we get this thing hooked up, it will be a front runner."

Starting from eleventh, Austin has set himself the target of rising through the top-ten as the day progresses, with an eye on catapulting himself into contention for the reverse grid race.

However, Austin admitted that overtaking around Oulton Park may come at a premium due to the narrow and fast-flowing nature of the infamous Cheshire circuit.

"Potentially, yes [we can challenge for a podium]. Then again, I thought that at Thruxton. We had a good race car there, but everyone was so close and it was just so stagnant.

"It’s tighter here at Oulton Park and it’s more difficult to overtake. If it’s stagnant again, it’s going to be hard to do a huge amount but that’s certainly the target.

"Top-ten is the target for race one to then progress further into the top-ten for race two. We have the intention of getting sixth so we can benefit from the reverse grid."