BTCC » Rob Collard:

Rob Collard: Mid-term reflections

Nick and I aren't just team-mates, we are also friends away from the circuit and travel to and from the races together. That could have made the drive home awkward, but by the time we got in the car to leave the circuit, it was all forgotten. He was genuinely sorry for what happened and you could tell he wasn't simply giving an empty apology because he felt he had to.

When there is an incident like that between team-mates, it's important to sort it out quickly and not let anything linger, which is exactly what we did. The fact he picked up the bill when we stopped for a coffee and a muffin also helped…

The other downside to what happened in race two is that I obviously had to start the final race at Oulton Park from the back of the grid, but I had a pretty good run to come through to eleventh place.

While it was ultimately a tough weekend for me in terms of results, I think we turned a corner at Oulton Park with the car, as was shown by the fact that Colin picked up two podium finishes. I just needed a bit of luck on my side when we headed for Croft.

Croft is a circuit that has always been good for the BMW in the past so we were confident about our chances, and it was easily my strongest weekend so far – even if you might not think it simply from looking at the results sheets afterwards.

P6 on the grid was a good position to be starting the opening race, although it's a shame I wasn't higher as I made a mistake on my fast lap that prevented me from being on the second row at least.

When we headed out to the grid for that first race, I felt really confident as we'd all elected to run the Soft compound tyre that we have to use in one race on Sunday. We'd looked at the weather forecast before making the decision on Saturday and decided that the opening race was the best time to run it because of the chance of rain later in the day. We also knew that the front-wheel drive cars were unlikely to follow suit, as they suffer more drop-off than we do and were more likely to gamble on being able to run the soft tyre in race three.

As soon as the lights went out, I was off like a rocket and decided to go round the outside into turn one. I then looked for a gap to cut back in for turn two but there wasn't one and I took the decision to go round the outside again. I was alongside Jason Plato but sadly there was contact, which meant I suffered a spin and dropped to the rear of the field.

In hindsight, I should have just slotted in behind Jason because the car was really strong on the soft tyre and even though I had to come from the back of the field, I still managed to finish in the top ten.

Even when we then had to run the regular tyre in race two in really tricky conditions, I had another solid race and picked up my best result of the year in sixth place. Before the race, there had been a shower of rain, but I was surprised to see that the MGs had put wet tyres on. I think I actually benefitted from the fact that I'd stayed out on track when it was wet in the second practice session the day before. I knew that the dry tyre would work for us and was the right way to go, and it proved to be correct.




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Rob Collard (GBR) eBay Motors BMW 125i M Sport
Rob Collard (GBR) eBay Motors BMW 125i M Sport
Rob Collard (GBR) eBay Motors BMW 125i M Sport
Rob Collard (GBR) eBay Motors BMW 125i M Sport
Rob Collard (GBR) eBay Motors BMW 125i M Sport
Rob Collard (GBR) eBay Motors BMW 125i M Sport
Rob Collard (GBR) eBay Motors BMW 125i M Sport
Rob Collard (GBR) eBay Motors BMW 125i M Sport
Rob Collard (GBR) eBay Motors BMW 125i M Sport
Rob Collard (GBR) eBay Motors BMW 125i M Sport
Rob Collard (GBR) eBay Motors BMW 125i M Sport
Rob Collard (GBR) eBay Motors BMW 125i M Sport
Rob Collard (GBR) eBay Motors BMW 125i M Sport
Rob Collard (GBR) eBay Motors BMW 125i M Sport
Rob Collard (GBR) eBay Motors BMW 125i M Sport
Rob Collard (GBR) eBay Motors BMW 125i M Sport
Rob Collard (GBR) eBay Motors BMW 125i M Sport
Rob Collard (GBR) eBay Motors BMW 125i M Sport

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