Motorbase Performance has confirmed that it has re-signed Rob Collard for the 2009 HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship season.
After a slow start to the 2008 season as he acclimatised to the switch to rear-wheel drive, Collard emerged as a strong performer for the BMW team during the second half of the season and helped David Bartrum's team to score more points than any of its Independent rivals during the final five races of the season.
Having finished fifth in the Independents' standings last season, Collard will now hope to try and help the team fight for honours during the season ahead and he admitted he was thrilled to secure a return.
“To re-sign for Motorbase is a great opportunity for me,” he said. “You see when other teams retain the same car and same driver they get a lot of benefit in terms of consistency, so we hope to replicate that. The BMW will be very strong this year and the team has been busy during the close season recruiting new staff and sponsors, so we will have a great package when we line up on the grid for the first race of 2009. I think it's going to be a very good season for us.”
Team boss Bartrum was also pleased to welcome Collard back for a second season and he said the focus for the team now was to build on its strong finish to the 2008 campaign.
“It's great to have Rob Collard in the team again for the season ahead,” he said. “He worked really well with the squad last year to help the car progress throughout the season, and it will be good to have him in it again this year with all that experience. We will look to keep that progress going and have an even more positive season in 2009.
“Having finished the last championship on such a high at Brands Hatch we are really looking forward to going there for the first race of the new campaign.”
Motorbase is set to confirm its full driver line-up prior to the annual BTCC Media Day at Rockingham later this month.