Ricky Collard put together an impressive session having old rear tyres on from Knockhill yet still feeling “the car was working really well”.
“Yeah it’s great, the car was working really well, we tried some really crazy drastic setup stuff that was a big roll of the dice. We’re still running the rear tyre that I was running at Knockhill. As much as we’ve got the vintage new sidewalls I was still running the yellow sidewalls on the rear, just trying to loosen the car up and get a rotation.
“Struggling quite a bit with understeer on this new surface, so rolled the dice, paid off. There was a bit more in it but because the car was so loose it was difficult to extract that without making any mistakes.
“I think I was pretty close to the limit a few times and maybe went over stepping mark a couple of times, so I think the car was good enough for P2 today so a bit gutted about that but in general really happy.”
The thought of going to weeks old tyres is not something that most would think as a good idea. That being said, Collard talks us through how the team came to that decision.
“Well the thing was loose. I had abit of understeer in FP1, FP2 was wet so then we talked about it and we’re like ‘you know what let’s just try it’. It was really quite loose and then the red flag came and I said ‘guys let’s just go even more, let’s go even more and just see what happens’.
“Then we even made the car even more oversteery and just kept going new fronts, new fronts and just keeping them old rears on there. A couple of times like down through the craners I was literally backing it into old hairpin It was a really fun qualifying session, really fun car to drive. We’re maybe gonna have to pull it back a little bit for the race because I don’t want to make any mistakes.
“In general really happy with the car, really happy with the work that the guys and girls have done at Toyota Speedworks and I’ve got nothing to lose tomorrow so that’s a cool thing. We know we make good starts, we’ve got BMW that’s starting P4 so I’ve got to make sure that I don’t concede a place to Colin at the start if I can. Also potentially look at attacking Ingram and so we’ll see what tomorrow brings.”
Knowing that the two in front are fighting for the championship Collard is sure that he can make sure that “it’s going to be a good race.”
“It’s really interesting, just talking openly about this, the other two, they’re fighting for a championship. First and second in the championship. I’m eighth but you know I don’t really care about that.
“If I’m not fighting for the championship and you know I’m going to be near the front, I’ve got nothing to lose. They’ve got everything to lose but at the same time I know Tom’s going to be pushing extremely hard to get Ash.
“It’s like do you sit behind Ingram, see if Ingram does it and then if Ingram doesn’t, do it and then we start to go forward. Or do I look at just going hell for leather and trying to get Ingram off the start and go for Ash? I don’t know how it’s going to plan out tomorrow, all I know is it’s going to be a good race.”