Rob Austin Racing Audi A4 touring car renderingWhile archrival BMW may be downscaling its racing program – in touring car series particularly – Audi looks to be going the other way. For evidence, we turn your attention to Exhibit A: a new entry into the British Touring Car Championship for 2011.

The two-car entry is being undertaken by Rob Austin Racing, a privateer British racing outfit taking a step up into the championship. The team has commissioned a pair of A4 touring cars to be built to by racing constructor GPR Motorsport to the BTCC's Next Generation Touring Car formula. The new regulations are aimed at reducing the cost of constructing and fielding an entry in the series, helping Audi – though entered independently from the manufacturer – become the ninth automaker represented on the grid for next season.

Testing of the new A4 NGTC is set to kick off in March, but the rendering above has been released in advance to give us an idea of what the car could look like. Follow the jump for the official announcement.

[Source: Rob Austin Racing via Autocar]
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Rob Austin Racing confirms BTCC Campaign

Rob Austin Racing has confirmed that it will be entering the Dunlop British Touring Car Championship in 2011 with the purchase of two new Audi A4 Next Generation Touring Cars (NGTC). The cars are on order with GPR Motorsport Ltd for delivery in early March 2011 in time for the start of the 2011 season.

Commenting on the move Rob Austin said, "This is a great step for us and a fantastic challenge. We are convinced that the NGTC concept is going to make the BTCC even more competitive and exciting and that the Audi will be a race winner."

Commenting on the deal Gary Blackham of GPR Motorsport said, "We are pleased that Rob has made the decision to join the BTCC. We are delighted to be building the cars and are sure that they will be competitive from the outset."

Discussions are taking place with potential drivers and sponsors and the team hopes to be in a position to confirm the line up at the Autosport Show in January. However, the team will welcome enquiries from interested parties. Please note that it must be stressed that the picture included is merely a rough artist's impression and not necessarily representative of how the car will appear under NGTC regulations.