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Rob Collard ‘very frustrated’ after race one shunt

Rob Collard expressed frustration after being taken out of the opening British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) race at Snetterton by team-mate Sam Tordoff, leading to his third retirement of the season.

Collard, who started the race from tenth on the grid, got a strong start to overtake Team JCT600 with GardX team-mate Tordoff before turn one. But the 46-year-old found himself then on the receiving end of contact from his WSR team-mate in the opening corner, causing extensive damage to the left-rear of his BMW.

“Unfortunately [the contact] was from my team-mate, from Sam Tordoff,” explained Collard to TouringCars.Net. “I think he needs to go to Specsavers on Monday morning because he doesn’t seem to be able to judge gaps very well.

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“I got a very good start and beat him off the line and going into turn one I slotted in in front of him. I was behind [Jack] Goff, and I just took a massive whack from the rear.”

The incident meant Collard had to crawl back around to the pitlane, where his WSR mechanics were unable to repair his car during the race. It means Collard will start race two from 28th on the grid after failing to post a lap time.

“It’s very disappointing and frustrating, because we never completed a lap,” added Collard. “It’s done that much chassis damage to the car that we couldn’t get back out and it’s ruined the whole meeting now, because I’ve got to start race two right from the very back. I just can’t see it really being a great weekend.

“The guys worked very, very hard to try and get the car out for the race so we could try and go and set a fast lap, but the car was just too badly damaged. It’s frustrating because turn one is not the sort of corner you expect to get contact in – it’s not a big braking zone.

“I just don’t know what Sam was thinking. He’s a good team-mate normally and I don’t believe it was intentional, but it’s just how my season is going this year.”

From the back of the grid, Collard believes top ten finishes are now out of reach for the rest of the day.

“I think the car is very good actually. We qualified P10 here, and if someone had said to me would I take [a position] four tenths off pole, I’d have jumped at that coming here. When we did that yesterday I was a little bit disappointed because I felt there was more time in the car, but I just didn’t quite get the perfect lap.

“We could easily have raced into the top five or six in that race, with absolutely no issue at all. So coming from the back in race two I’ve got the pace to overtake a lot of cars but I’m not going to get through to the reverse grid, so I can’t see myself getting into the top ten in the next two races.”

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