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Rob Collard cites ‘electric’ starts as key to closely-fought victory

Rob Collard hailed two ‘electric’ starts as the key to his victory in the disrupted second British Touring Car Championship race at Thruxton.

The BMW driver was forced to fend off intense pressure from defending champion Gordon Shedden and current standings leader Tom Ingram until a crash for Martin Depper brought out the red flags and a result was declared.

The race had suffered a prolonged early stoppage as Daniel Lloyd crashed his MG6 heavily at Church corner, necessitating barrier repairs.

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Collard, who started the race from the outside of the fifth row in tenth, explained to that his excellent start in the BMW 125i M Sport was responsible for putting him in a position to defend the result.

“I had two starts there and I don’t know what I did, but the car was just electric,” explained Collard.

“They were brillant starts, I’m very pleased, and that win was from the two starts, really.

“I don’t think we’ve got fantastic overall pace, but we got to where we did by having our elbows out and it was just a good race.

Collard also admitted that, whilst he would never wish a race to be shortened, it was a relief to see the red flags and himself declared the winner, his first victory of the 2017 season.

“I wouldn’t say you’re ever pleased that a race finishes early, but I’m relieved that I didn’t have to take any more pressure from Gordon, as he was looking very racey. We had it under control.

With Collard due to start the final race from sixth in the final race, the reverse grid provides the Hampshire driver with an opportunity to continue his charge back towards the top of the standings. Team BMW team-mate Colin Turkington will start from pole position alongside Rob Austin.
“We’ve got to just manage the race and score as many points as we can. It’s fantastic to be where we are, so I’m really looking forward to it.”

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