Ricky Collard: ‘The whole weekend has been quite overwhelming’

Ricky Collard: ‘The whole weekend has been quite overwhelming’

Photo: PSP Images

Team BMW’s Ricky Collard described his Silverstone weekend as “quite overwhelming” after the BMW junior driver scored his maiden British Touring Car Championship podium in race one and was the winner of the Jack Sears Trophy with a brace of top ten finishes in the following races.

Collard, who continued to stand in for his injured father Rob at the weekend, impressed in qualifying when he put his BMW 125i M Sport on the front row behind polesitter Sam Tordoff on Saturday.

He went on to secure his first ever podium in race one in just his third BTCC meeting, and narrowly missed out on another the second contest before finishing tenth on the harder tyre in the final race.

These results earned Collard the Jack Sears Trophy for the weekend, and he told TouringCars.Net he felt that consistent weather allowed him to show his full potential.

“This whole weekend has been quite overwhelming,” said Collard. “I knew it was there, I just needed consistent weather because all the time when you’re trying to learn – Rockingham we had slick tyres in the wet, Knockhill it was so wet you couldn’t even see.

“And now we’ve come to this weekend and I said to the boys just give me a consistent weekend and I’ll give you the results and that’s what we’ve been able to do.

“The guys have just given me an amazing car as well. All the guys at Team BMW and West Surrey Racing, the car has just been spot on.

Collard referred to the weekend as a “fantastic achievement,” and one that he had to fight hard for given the wheel-to-wheel racing that is part of the BTCC.

“We had to fight really hard,” he said. “Even in race three my right door had been hit in and my left door has been hit in!

“I was in the middle of a sandwich and my Dad did warn me – he said it kicks off a little bit in race three – I was kind of like ‘yeah, alright whatever!’ because it’s already crazy enough as it is!

“But it really kicked off and obviously we were the second car home on the hards so, it was just a fantastic achievement.”

After the podium in the opening race, Collard nearly doubled up in race two, but missed out on silverware by just 0.098s from race one winner Sam Tordoff, who was laden with maximum ballast in the second encounter.

“A hundredth of a second! I hate that pink car! But fair play to Sam [Tordoff], he knew the gap was there and he knew I was catching,” said Collard.

“But he just did what he needed to do, but if we’d had one more lap or even one more corner and maybe we could have had him.”

With father Rob Collard set to undergo a concussion test before the Brands Hatch finale in two weeks, Ricky is unsure as to whether he will participate in the final round, but has already described his experience in the BTCC this season as an honour.

“I still don’t know yet obviously my Dad has got his concussion test soon,” said Collard. “I wish him all the best – it’s great to be here – but I want to see him out at Brands Hatch.

“He’s obviously coming up to 50 years old now, we don’t know how many more years he’s got left in the sport and I want him to finish the season.

“But it’s been an honour – an absolute honour.”