Rob Collard has criticised Colin Turkington for a ‘crazy’ move that took him out of contention for victory in the final British Touring Car Championship race at Knockhill.
Collard had headed into the annual Scottish round of the championship as the points leader, but the WSR driver heads south with a 32-point deficit to team-mate and new leader Sam Tordoff.
After again struggling in qualifying with 75 kg on board, leaving the 47-year-old down in 18th on the grid for race one, Collard had a dogged race in the mid-pack which saw him only gain one place.
Without the weight on board in race two, and nearer to the front, Collard fought his way up to fifth, which ultimately then gave him a front-row starting position in the final reverse-grid race of the day.
Collard was in contention for the lead of the race until lap eight when he was turned around at Clark Curve by the Subaru of Turkington, ending his weekend.
“It’s been a very disappointing weekend for me,” said Collard. “I always knew that coming to Knockhill with 75kg of ballast would make qualifying and race one a challenge, and they were, but the pace we were able to show in the second race to come from P17 to P5 was an indication of the speed of the BMW.
“I could have won race three, but unfortunately I was taken out by a crazy move by Colin Turkington that damaged the car so badly that I had to retire with broken steering.
“To have a good result taken away through no fault of my own – especially at a track where we should have taken big points – is massively frustrating.”
WSR Team Principal Dick Bennetts believes that Collard did everything right in the race in terms of timings, with the experienced driver a victim of a rare mistake by Turkington.
“It’s been a very frustrating [weekend] for Rob, which makes it a mixed event for the team overall,” said Bennetts. “Rob knew exactly what he was doing and was waiting for the right time to attack for the lead, so for him to be taken out in the manner he was is pretty hard to take.
“We’ve been leading the championship for a few rounds now, but it’s clear that some cars have become a lot faster recently so we have to keep working hard as the remaining three events of 2016 are going to be very tough.”