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Rob Collard frustrated to fall away from title fight

BMW’s Rob Collard was frustrated to have fallen away from contention for the British Touring Car Championship title fight at Rockingham, where a race three shunt left him 56 points adrift of the top of the table.

Having once again struggled in qualifying, Collard found himself with an uphill task on Sunday from 20th on the grid in race one.

The BMW driver made some gains in the race, but 48 kg of ballast and running the less favourable hard tyre meant he could make up just three positions in the race.

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In race two, shot of the ballast and tyres, Collard made much more significant gains, getting up to 11th by lap two and following BMW team-mate Andrew Jordan through the pack to eventually finish eighth.

Collard was, however, left frustrated to finish behind his team-mate, who went on to claim the reverse-grid pole and race three win despite being effectively out of championship contention.

“I’m very, very frustrated with that [finishing behind Jordan in race two],” said Collard to TouringCars.Net. “We had cracking pace and we were easily the faster car there.

“Literally from the first lap Andrew drove a defensive race, and it’s a bit disappointing really. We’re both out there to race for each other and do what’s right for each other, but he drove a very defensive race for literally the whole race.”

In race three Collard had been battling with Jack Goff for fourth when the duo made contact exiting the Tarzan hairpin on lap 11 and Collard was spun into the barriers, ending his race and resulting in a first retirement of the season.

“I’m just a little bit disappointed with Jack,” said Collard. “We had so much more pace than him and he was really, really struggling at the end.

“The problem in this championship is that you can be in a much faster car, and people just want to weave and block you. It’s just not on. You put good moves on people and they still want to weave and block and do something.

“I’m just a bit disappointed with some of the actions in race two from some of the drivers and then again in race three. I haven’t hit or pushed anybody and you’re overtaking people cleanly, and people just want to keep swerving and driving into you.

“I got a good move on him, he drifted wide at the hairpin so I went down his inside and came out of the corner up the hill, and thought I had it covered. Perhaps the acceleration from the TOCA engine just pulled him back into contention, because I thought I was in front of him.”

Goff later apologised to Collard for the incident, claiming that he had been driving in a straight line exiting the corner. No further action was taken by the stewards, with the shunt being deemed to be a racing incident.

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