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Rob Collard: “This has all the ingredients to be a fantastic season”

Power Maxed Racing’s Rob Collard feels he has “all the ingredients” for a successful campaign in the 2019 British Touring Car Championship.

Collard was forced to sit out the majority of the second half of last season after sustaining a concussion in heavy incidents at Snetterton, but now returns for a full BTCC season.

After driving for West Surrey Racing for the previous nine seasons, Collard makes a return to Vauxhall and front-wheel drive machinery this year.

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He told TouringCars.Net that he’s acclimatising to the switch well, and gelling quickly with the PMR outfit.

“I’ve done a lot of different driving over the years and whether it’s front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive in the rallying that I’ve done, you adapt very quickly,” explained Collard.

“It’s good, I’m enjoying the car and I’m enjoying the new team.  I’m settling in really well, they’re a great bunch of guys.

“I’ve always kept in touch with Adam Weaver [PMR Team Principal] over the last couple of seasons and watched the progression of the team.

“This has all the ingredients to be a fantastic season. We’ve just got to get our head down and get some results.”

Despite this, Collard pinpointed the necessary difference in driving style, forcing a change of approach for this year.

“The front-wheel drive style of driving – the cars are a little bit looser compared to rear-wheel drive on entry into the corners.

“I’m just finding at the moment that the car is a little bit nervous on the rear axle, as soon as we get that nailed down I’m sure we’ll be right there on the timesheets.”

The 50-year-old Hampshire racer has racked up significant mileage during the two test days he completed prior to the official test today [27 March].

“We’ve done two test days so far, and both test days were very long. We did 125 laps on the first day and 165 laps last week on the second day,” he said.

“We had good laps in the car, I feel fit, I feel ready. Hopefully we’ll rack up about another 100 today.”

With Jason Plato also making a return to Vauxhall as his teammate, Collard is hoping the pair can use their ample experience to bring the Astra to the front of the grid.

“When I look at the experience between Jason and myself technically and from a racecraft point of view we should definitely be able to deliver.

“It’s an exciting season ahead.”

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