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Rob Collard: “People saw the old Rob Collard back on race day”

Team BMW’s Rob Collard said he was pleased to be ‘back on form’ in the three British Touring Car Championship races at Donington Park.

The multiple BTCC race winner struggled at the season opening Brands Hatch round, and had similar difficulties throughout a wet Saturday at Donington Park.

He told TouringCars.Net he felt far more comfortable in the dry in Sunday’s races, as he had struggled to find a good balance in his BMW 125i M Sport in damp conditions.

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“It’s about finally getting my race form back, which we couldn’t really show at Brands Hatch,” said Collard.

“My wet pace has been very poor, and that showed at Brands Hatch, and it also showed yesterday in qualifying.

“For some reason I can’t get a balance in the car, however when it’s dry we’re back on form. A lot of people saw the old Rob Collard back on race day, which I’m pleased to be able to show people.”

Collard scored his first points of the season with 11th place in race one at the Leicestershire venue, and made progress in race two before dropping back on the harder tyre, eventually finishing 13th.

“It’s just the hard tyre – the first lap or two I was able to capitalise and then just from a pure pace point of view, anybody that’s run the hard tyre this weekend whether it’s been front wheel drive or rear wheel drive has really struggled because it’s been so cold,” he explained.

“And everybody has gone backwards, I haven’t seen any drivers actually go forward on that tyre. So I lost three or four places which is a shame because I feel that would have made race three a lot more interesting.”

In race three, he progressed from 13th place to finish fourth, followed by WSR stablemate Andrew Jordan, whose weekend was marred by reliability issues.

Despite a stronger showing on Sunday, Collard believes the team needs to work on a concerning lack of pace in the wet.

“WSR as a team are exceptionally strong from an engineering point of view and we will definitely be working hard to try to resolve any lack of pace in the wet or in the dry,” he said.

“Like I say I think we’ve all been pretty quick in the dry today, Andrew was quick in race three, Colin was very quick in race one, but he got taken out and then had reliability issues.”

As the BTCC heads to Thruxton on the 19/20 May, Collard is hopeful that he replicate his success at his home circuit as he did last year.

“I’m going to Thruxton quite optimistic, I think the car will be good there.

“We won there in race two last year, which is the first time I’ve actually won a touring car race at Thruxton on my home circuit so that was a very special weekend.

“So I think our car will be good and it’ll be competitive.”


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