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‘Phenomenal’ final race for eBay Motors at Knockhill

Rob Collard has hailed race three of the British Touring Car Championship at Knockhill as ‘phenomenal’ after he scored his first win in the series in two years on Sunday.

Collard started the race from sixth on the grid but made the most of the advantage of his BMW 125i M Sport around the short Scottish circuit to rise up to third by the end of the opening lap.

The eBay Motors driver then passed Fabrizio Giovanardi for second on lap two with a smooth move at the final hairpin. With team-mate Nick Foster leading, Collard passed for the lead of the race on lap eight and held on to take his eighth BTCC win – and his fourth at Knockhill.

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“You don’t like to predict too much but I thought we might be in with a chance of a reverse grid win,” said Collard. “We exceeded our expectations in races one and two, fighting our way up from the back of the grid.

“That final race was just phenomenal – you just can’t beat our eBay Motors team at the moment. Everyone is on top of their game and I’m just over the moon with this victory.”

Foster, who eventually finished the race in fourth, gave team-mate Colin Turkington a run for his money towards the end of the race whilst trying to secure what would have been his second-ever podium in the series. Foster admits to having to be careful of Turkington in the final race, mindful of not damaging his team-mates lead at the top of the table.

“We nearly had it,” admitted Foster. “We’ve gone really well this weekend with our best qualifying performance. Race three – wow – it was just a great race wasn’t it. I really wanted that podium and it was difficult at times, but Colin is going for the championship so we had to be careful. Overall it has been another great one for the team and I’m happy with my performance.”

Despite Collard tasting the victory champagne for the first time in 2014 the drive of the day surely went to Turkington himself. After being spun out of race one, the Northern Irishman was forced to start down in 27th in race two. Turkington stunningly fought his way up the order to 24th in that race, setting himself up to end the weekend with a podium in race three to maintain is championship lead.

“It has been a really tough weekend but the pace of the eBay Motors BMWs has been brilliant,” said Turkington, who finished third in race three. “We’ve got to be happy with the points return considering what happened in the first race.

“To leave here with a podium and to maintain the gap in the standings is just so important. I’m really pleased for Rob too – he deserved that win.”

WSR’s Dick Bennetts praised the efforts of his team over the course of the weekend, which has seen Turkington maintain his 23-point lead over rival Gordon Shedden in the championship.

“It didn’t start off too well with Colin’s incident but it turned out to be fantastic with Rob’s win,” said Bennetts, whose team have won a third of the races in 2014. “Everyone has worked so hard and it’s thanks to the whole team, all of our loyal sponsors and supporters. Rob really deserved it – we surprised a few people by holding on to the soft tyre for race three with him, but we thought it could work, and thankfully it did.

“Both Colin and Rob produced sensational drives through the field during the day, and Nick drove brilliantly too. To move away from here having increased our lead in the teams standings and for Colin to keep ticking away at the top is fantastic for eBay Motors.”

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