Rob Collard took the lead of the 2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship after taking a composed second place finish in the penultimate encounter of the weekend at Thruxton.
The local hero finished behind Andrew Jordan, who claimed his first victory since Croft in 2014, after starting on the third row. He spent the majority of the race embroiled in battle with his WSR team-mates, Sam Tordoff and Jack Goff, but eventually broke clear but conceded the overall win to Jordan.
Speaking to TouringCars.net as he climbed off the podium, Collard expressed his delight at taking the lead of the series for the first time, and admitted he had consciously elected to remain second on the road behind Jordan in order to bank the points.
“It’s fantastic – it’s the first time in my career I’ve lead the overall championship, and I just sat there in that race calculating the figures in my head and thinking ‘yep, I’ll just sit here for a second or a third’, and I’m so pleased to be second,” explained Collard.
“If they hadn’t cut the race short, maybe we’d have been able to get a victory, but it’s a good feeling.”
Heading into the final race of the weekend, which gets underway at 17:17 this evening, Collard admits there is an element of the unknown about how his BMW 125i M-Sport will react when the full quota of success ballast is applied by series officials TOCA, but he believes it should be manageable in the final encounter, which Daniel Welch starts from pole position.
“It’s going to be a real step into the unknown with 75 kilos, but we ran 48 kilos this morning and got the camera on board as well, so it shouldn’t be too bad. But you just never know here, it’s a mystery circuit.”