James Weaver joins Rob Austin Racing
James Weaver, one of Britain’s top names in sportscars and also a former British Touring Car Championship runner-up, will take up the role of Chief Race Engineer with Rob Austin Racing when the Worcestershire team resumes its 2014 BTCC season at Cheshire’s famous Oulton Park circuit this coming weekend (Sat 7/Sun 8 June).
Weaver became famous on TV 25 years ago for some heated battles with Prodrive BMW team-mate Frank Sytner which arguably cost him the BTCC crown in 1989.
He then went on to a glittering career in sportscars with starring performances in the world-famous Le Mans 24 Hours and in America where he won numerous high profile races and championships.
Austin, who competes under the Exocet Racing banner, comments: “So far it’s been me engineering both Audis but with James on board – he will chiefly be overseeing Hunter Abbot’s car – we will be able to devote much more time, knowledge and experience into looking through the data and improving performance. Someone of James’s experience is a massive asset to the team across all aspects – I’m sure the fans and media will enjoy having a former BTCC great being part of the pit lane as well.”
“I’m definitely coming along to fit in," says Weaver. "While the majority of my career was in sportscars the principles remain basically the same. Hopefully I can take some load off Rob and that will translate into even better performance. I’ve not ‘worked’ in the BTCC paddock since 1989 so it will be nice to bump into some old faces – particularly ITV anchorman Steve Rider who I remember well from those times on Grandstand. His hair’s not changed much…”
Rob is also hopeful technical modifications carried out in RAR's Pershore workshops will pay dividends, adding: “Both cars have undergone major rebuilds since the last event more than four weeks ago and we have new cooling packs which should improve the temperatures on the cars and help us squeeze that bit more power from the engines.
“Oulton marks the first of five circuits in a row where we should be much stronger. I led at Oulton last year Croft is next up in late June and I was on the podium there two years ago, we know we have a strong car at Snetterton and then it’s Knockhill and Rockingham where last year we got our first pole and first win and scored more points than anybody else combined.
The results in the two most recent rounds at Donington and Thruxton might not show it, but we actually hit our target of being stronger comparatively at our two weakest circuits. With James on board and with a good sequence of circuits coming up our goals will be to make some huge progress.”