Rob Collard heads to Oulton Park for this weekend’s British Touring Car Championship races in a ‘very positive’ mood as he says he is looking to ‘take advantage’ of having rear-wheel drive at the circuit.
Collard has never previously won at the Cheshire circuit, but BMW cars have won four times in the past three years at the track.
Prior to last weekend’s races at Thruxton, Collard had never previously won at the track, and he heads to Oulton Park where he has also not previously won looking to continue a strong run of podium results.
“It was great to score my first win of the year at Thruxton, keep up my record of having been on the podium at every round so far, and improve my position in the fight for the championship,” said Collard, who is currently fourth overall in the drivers’ championship.
“Oulton has usually been a very good circuit for rear-wheel-drive cars and I’m aiming to take advantage of that this weekend.
“Last year we had an absolutely sensational car in race conditions and I was able to overtake at pretty much any corner, but it was also frustrating that we had some bad luck that kept setting us back every time we made forward progress. I’m feeling very positive.”
WSR Team Principal Dick Bennetts is hoping the team can maximise their advantage at the circuits the BMW is expected to have an advantage over is rivals.
In 2016, BMW cars scored a podium in each of the day’s three races, with former driver Sam Tordoff ultimately moving to the top of the standings, something which Bennetts alludes to hoping can happen in 2017 with Collard and Colin Turkington.
“The mid-season events at Oulton Park and Croft, which have traditionally suited our rear-wheel-drive BMWs, have been where our title challenges have typically kick-started in previous years,” said Bennetts.
“It’s a little different this time as we arrive in Cheshire leading the Teams’ and Manufacturers’ points, which is a testament to the strength of the BMW 125i M Sport and the job that the entire team have done this year.
“However this season is proving to be an incredibly competitive one, so we just have to keep our heads down and continue to work hard at it.
“The aim is, as ever, to fight for wins and podiums and score every point we possibly can before we head back to the tracks that favour the front-wheel-drive cars later in the year.”