Ricky Collard made his British Touring Car Championship testing début with factory BMW team WSR at Silverstone today, as the young racer looks to follow in father Rob Collard’s footsteps.
Collard completed 122 laps of the National Circuit at the wheel of WSR’s BMW 125i M Sport, alongside two-time BTCC champion Colin Turkington, who completed 92 laps.
The 21-year-old is an official BMW Motorsport Junior Driver, having competed in ADAC GT Masters in Germany for the manufacturer.
WSR Team Principal Dick Bennetts was impressed with Collard’s feedback given his lack of experience in BTCC machinery.
“We were delighted to give Ricky a run in the BMW today,” said Bennetts. “He performed well for a driver with no experience of a BTCC car.
“His technical feedback was extremely impressive, his lap times were very competitive and he clearly has a bright future.
“We’re yet to announce our full driver line-up for our BTCC title defence in 2018, so days like this help us with our evaluation process.”
Collard himself admits that having been around the paddock for so long he was relieved to finally get the chance to get behind the wheel of one of the cars.
“I’ve been around the BTCC paddock for a long time through my Dad’s racing and always wanted to drive one, so I’m extremely grateful to have been given the chance to do this by WSR today,” added Collard.
“The car is quite a bit different to the GT3 and DTM BMWs I’ve driven this year, but the handling is fantastic and I can see why it’s won so many races and championships in the BTCC.
“It’s been an enjoyable day, but we’ll have to see if it leads to anything.”