Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

'Thrilled to Bits' Rookie Wayne Makes Mark on Championship Neal's on Wheels

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

'Thrilled to Bits' Rookie Wayne Makes Mark on Championship Neal's on Wheels

Article excerpt

Byline: Martin Neal

RACE rookie Wayne Austin only had his first taste of motorsport action little more than a month ago, but is already showing more experienced drivers the way to do it.

And on his debut performance in front of his home crowd at Croft, the Ingleby Barwick driver scored his best performance of what is already shaping up to be a memorable first season.

Austin is contesting the Havoline Ginetta Championship, in which drivers compete in identical 1800cc Ginetta G20 sports cars.

He endured a torrid start to the campaign at Oulton Park in March, but he's been a regular points scorer ever since and was 11th and 15th respectively in the weekend's rounds at Croft on the undercard of the British Formula Three International Series.

"It's my first season, I've never done karting or anything," explained Team Tockwith driver Austin. "I've always been a bit of a petrol head but because of the affordability, I've never been involved until now.

"My brother, Alex, did karting and got the opportunity to race in the Ginetta Juniors and that's what gave me the opportunity really.

"It's going all right. I had a bit of a mare at Oulton Park. I didn't finish the first race because there was an oil slick and I went into a barrier, and in the second race I had a first corner incident. I managed to finish but I had damage on the bodywork. Cadwell Park next time out went a lot better and I got a 16th place and a 19th, then at Knockhill I had a 16th and a 13th. Then this weekend I pulled an 11th and 15th."

Considering his complete lack of experience and the size of the grids in what is known to be a very competitive series, that represents a very impressive set of results.

"I'm well happy," he admitted.

"Absolutely chuffed to bits. There's not many people with novice badges on the back and I'm not finishing near the back, so I'm thrilled to bits."

Austin's next aim is to step up into the Ginetta G50 Cup, in which drivers compete in the G20s' big brothers - 3500cc Ford V6 engined GT4-spec cars which race on slicks. …

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