Rob Collard has been confirmed as Power Maxed Racing’s second British Touring Car Championship driver for the 2019 season, with the 50-year-old joining Jason Plato in racing under the Vauxhall badge this year.
Collard has spent the past nine years racing with WSR, but the announcement of Tom Oliphant joining the team in 2019 meant that Collard would have to look elsewhere to remain on the grid.
The Hampshire racer has now been confirmed at PMR and, like Plato, Collard is returning to the Vauxhall marque. It was back in 2004 when Collard last raced with the Griffin on the front, and since that time he has scored 15 outright victories, with 13 of them coming in BMW machinery.
“My desire to win is as strong as ever,” said Collard. “I’m delighted to form a new partnership with PMR to return to BTCC in 2019.
“I’ve watched their growth and development from day one and seen Adam [Weaver, Team Principal] and the team build a race-winning package that has gone from strength to strength.”
Like Plato, Collard is returning to front-wheel drive racing, having driven rear-wheel drive cars for the past 11 years.
“I’m very pleased to help build on that success, alongside an experienced team-mate in Jason. Returning to front wheel drive is a challenge I relish, particularly having won the Independents’ title in a Vauxhall Astra in the past.
“As always, I’d like to thank all of my sponsors, particularly Duo and Hitachi Construction Machinery, for their continued support for my 2019 campaign.”
“After our breakthrough year in 2018, we have been looking for a driver line up that not only matches our ambitions, but that also has the speed and experience to help us realise those ambitions,” added Team Principal Adam Weaver. “I am delighted that Rob has decided to join PMR to complete what I believe to be an incredibly strong driver line up.
“It is quite surreal for me as the two drivers we have signed are ones that I grew up watching and are a big part of the reason I fell so in love with BTCC in the first place. Celebrating our eventual successes together is going to make all the hard work so worthwhile.”
The outfit finished tied for second spot in the Teams’ running in 2018, in the Astra’s second year in the BTCC, and PMR has ambitions of challenging again in 2019. It’s currently concluding an intensive winter development programme ahead of pre-season testing and will be announcing brand partners and its race livery in due course, with testing to begin next week at Brands Hatch with Collard in the hot-seat.
“It’s not very often I complement Adam, certainly not publicly anyway!” started Martin Broadhurst, Team Manager, jovially. “But he has done a sterling job with the drivers he’s secured for the forthcoming campaign. The plan is really starting to come together and we are ready to cement ourselves as a top team in the BTCC, if we haven’t done so already.”