ROB Austin is determined to return to heavy points-scoring consistency for Swindon’s Handy Motorsport when the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship makes its annual trip north of the border to Knockhill in Fife this weekend for rounds 19, 20 and 21.

As one of the Evesham racer’s favourite tracks, a venue where he has excelled in the past with four podium finishes, the Handy driver is out to hit back from the disappointment of Snetterton a week ago when he was twice the victim of contact.

Frustratingly, the team’s Toyota Avensis clearly had the pace to again challenge for silverware as the BTCC arrived in Norfolk so the start to the second half of the season very much became a missed opportunity, with enforced retirements in races one and three through no fault of Austin’s.

While Knockhill is a venue Austin has a deep-rooted affinity with, first racing there back in 1998 in Formula Renault single-seaters, the challenge will be a tough one, with his front-wheel drive Toyota not as suited to the tight, twisty and undulating 1.26-mile track as the rear-wheel drive cars.

Austin said: “After a tough weekend at Snetterton, that saw us unceremoniously removed from two of the three races, I am looking forward to getting back on track at Knockhill.

“I absolutely love the Knockhill circuit and the support from the fans north of the border is always incredible.

“I am one of the highest average finishers on the grid at Knockhill and I believe the Handy Motorsport Toyota will suit it as well as it can for a front-wheel drive car, so I am definitely aiming to keep that going and come away with a good points haul.

“Obviously the rear-wheel drive cars are very strong this year and there are some cars out there that still have a power advantage.

“Knockhill’s tight final turn, followed by a long uphill drag to the finish line, really favours the rear-wheel drive traction.

“Hopefully we can make up the deficit and be in with a shout overall, otherwise our target will be to win the front-wheel drive, non-Ford engine race.

“It’s important to score as heavily as we can to make up for some lost ground in the championship after Snetterton – that’s the plan.”

Opening free practice at Knockhill will get under way at 10am on Saturday, with session two taking place at 12pm and qualifying following at 4.10pm.

On Sunday, round 19 will begin at 11.50am, round 20 will start at around 2.15pm and round 21 will begin at 5.10pm.