12 September 2013
eBay Motors driver Rob Collard looks back at the resumption of the BTCC season in his latest Crash.net column
In Rob Collard's latest exclusive column on Crash.net, the eBay Motors driver looks back at rounds six and seven of the 2013 BTCC season at Snetterton and Knockhill…
When I last wrote to you, preparations were well underway for the start of the second half of the BTCC season at Snetterton.
We'd been able to spend two days testing at the circuit with the new BMW 125i M-Sport and it had gone well, meaning we were confident about our chances when the action restarted in Norfolk.
However, it turned out to be the most challenging weekends I've had on a racetrack for some time...
Shortly before the end of my 'summer break', my eldest son Ricky had gone out to Italy to compete in the European Karting Championship event at the Ortona circuit.
The weekend was going well and he'd been the fastest British driver to earn himself a good position on the grid for the final. However, when the race got underway, there was an incident in the field, which ended with another kart coming down on top of Ricky.
The race was immediately red-flagged so he could get medical attention, but the situation went from bad to worse.
We could see the accident had been a bad one at the time, but then we realised how serious his injuries were. His condition deteriorated rapidly and he was transferred to hospital with internal bleeding and a punctured lung, and was taken into intensive care.
Although he was soon on the road to recovery, the two weeks leading up to Snetterton were spent going backwards and forwards from home to Italy to be with Ricky in hospital.
It was a difficult time for the whole family, especially when we then discovered that Ricky had also suffered a fractured vertebrae in the accident, which would increase his recovery time and delayed his return home.
It all meant that the Snetterton race weekend turned out to be a real challenge.
Ricky has become part of the BTCC family as he's grown up in the paddock so everyone knows who he is, and they were all aware of what had happened. Everywhere I turned, people were asking me how he was doing and if he was improving, and it was comforting to see the concern that people had for him.
At the same time though, it also made it hard for me, as there was nowhere to hide in the paddock where I could just have ten minutes to myself. It made it a challenge to get away from what was going on away from the circuit.
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