THERE were mixed fortunes for Swindon-based DUO Motorsport with HMS Racing at the Rockingham International Super Sportscar Circuit last weekend.

Rob Austin, representing HMS Racing, appeared at the Northamptonshire-based track in what could be the last season that the British Touring Car Championships visits the venue for rounds 19, 20 and 21.

Having won twice before at Rockingham, Austin failed to reach the heights of his past efforts as mechanical gremlins haunted the Swindon racer.

Despite placing highly in his opening race after taking advantage of the misfortune of other drivers in the race, who were involved in a first-bend incident, Austin was forced to retire in round 20 before placing 18th in the third and final race of the afternoon.

“It’s been another frustrating weekend sadly, I did my best and we all tried as hard as we could,” said Austin.

“We went the wrong way with the car in qualifying, but race one was okay other than struggling with understeer.

“In the damp conditions in race two, being one of the very few cars on the hard tyre was the worst possible situation for us.

“All we needed to do was finish but, once again, I suffered through contact from another driver.

“Unfortunately, some drivers are beginning to think they can get away with pretty much anything, which isn’t good for the championship.

“Race three could have been good for us as we had the correct tyre but, typically, the delayed starts gave time for the track to dry and for the guys on the hard compound to get heat into their tyres which negated my advantage in the early laps.”

Austin will return to action next weekend when the BTCC heads north of the boarder to Knockhill Circuit in Scotland over the weekend of August 25 and 26.