Rob Collard has climbed up to fourth place in the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship standings after securing a second win of the 2009 campaign at Donington Park.
The Airwaves BMW driver, who took his first win of the campaign during the opening rounds of the year at Brands Hatch, took a dominant win the final race of the weekend at the Leicestershire venue and now sits level on points with defending champion Fabrizio Giovanardi with nine races of the season gone.
Collard had bounced back from losing his times for a ride height infringement in qualifying to post the sixth quickest time, but quickly moved up to third in the opening race, held in wet conditions after a morning downpour. Although he lost a place to Matt Neal as the race wore on, Collard still secured a solid fourth place at the flag.
Another fine start to race two saw Collard jump up to second place but his challenge for victory came to an end when he was tipped into a spin by Andrew Jordan and dropped down to 13th. However, the BMW man recovered to ninth place and was rewarded with a place on the front row of the grid for the final race as a result.
Having quickly jumped into the lead of race three, Collard controlled things from the front and was never challenged as he took victory and he admitted he couldn't have asked for more from the weekend.
“What a great way to finish the day,” he reflected. “The car was tremendous all weekend, a lot of credit has to go to our engineers for doing such a superb job under difficult conditions today. Race one was good for me, race two was a bit unfortunate, but we showed the strength of this team by bouncing back and doing a great job in the last race. I got away so well and I pushed really hard over the first part of the race to try and build up a really good lead.
“When the track started drying out I just went looking for water on the wet line all the time, and that helped me keep the tyres in good enough shape to maintain my lead. I was a bit worried when I started seeing back markers, but I got past them okay and I knew I could produce a bit more pace if I needed to over the last few laps. This weekend has put me right back in the title hunt so I can't ask for any more.”
Team boss David Bartrum was delighted to see his outfit secure its second win of the year, with the results from the weekend moving the Motorbase-run team to the lead of the Independents' team standings.
“That was a superb win for Rob in the last race, he did a really professional job and it just underlined how well he has been driving this season,” he said. “I'm delighted for him and all the boys in the garage who worked so hard to make it happen. After a tough round at Thruxton it was important to get back to winning ways here at Donington. It just shows how far we have come as a team that we are capable of producing big results like this on a regular basis.”