HMS Racing’s Rob Austin has said he was ‘gutted’ to drop out of the podium places due to a premature retirement during the last British Touring Car Championship race at Oulton Park.

Austin had started the final reverse grid encounter on pole position and spent the vast majority of the race in a relatively comfortable second place until an electrical fault struck his Alfa Romeo Giulietta with just 3 laps to go.

Nevertheless, Austin is still taking the positives from his Oulton Park weekend after ‘turning a corner’ for the better with the development of the HMS Racing Alfa Romeo.

“It’s just gutting really. We’ve come such a long way with the car. We’ve really turned a corner,” Austin told Crash.net.

“I’m led to believe we were the quickest car on the medium tyre. Jordan is no slouch in the almighty WSR BMW and I was pulling away from him in the first half.

“With tyre wear he was starting to come back to but it was totally in hand. There’s positives from the fact we’ve got that pace now.

“I’d rather score no points through being at the front and having a failure than not being able to get into the points in the first place.”

Having found a direction to progress on with the set-up of the Giulietta, Austin admitted he expected more of the data gained from their time running the Toyota Avensis to transfer across to the Alfa Romeo.

“We’ve sussed something today [Sunday] and that little thing has put it right smack, bang in the window. We think we can tune it from there. The whole thing is working in a much better way,” Austin continued.

“I was probably optimistic. I thought a lot of the Toyota information would transfer over to the Alfa a lot more than it has. So far it’s not really living up to my expectations but I know the potential is massive.

“The team are happy that we’re progressing and we’re learning all the time. Now we’re at a point where we’ve got a truly fast car and there’s more to come.”

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