Crash.Net BTCC News
Airwaves determined to stay in the hunt
29 July 2009
Rob Collard says he is keen to build on the momentum gathered during the first half of the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship season as the 2009 campaign resumes this weekend at Snetterton.
The Airwaves BMW driver has already won on two occasions this season and remains in contention for the title heading into the second half of the year, although a gap of 51 points to current leader Colin Turkington means the former Independents' champion is the outsider amongst the championship hopefuls.
Snetterton marked the start of an upturn in fortunes for the Motorbase-run team last season and Collard said he was hopeful of strong results in Norfolk again for the BMW squad to kick-start the second half of the year.
“I am quietly confident going into the races at Snetterton,” he said. “We were quick in testing during the mid-season break and made some good progress with our setup. The car had a really good balance to it, and with a new engine for this weekend we are hoping this combination of improvements will give us some real performance benefits.
“I will definitely be looking to run up there in the top six, but you only have to look at how close the field is just now to realise that just to get into the top ten you have to be a really good driver and have a really good package in terms of the car and the team behind you in the garage.
“We showed in the first half of the season we could win races and I think we have the ability to do it again in the second half. It's been a really good championship so far and it's still wide open, so I want to get the momentum going again with some good results at Snetterton and keep us in the frame for some silverware come the end of the season.”
Team boss David Bartrum added that he was confident that the team will maintain the form shown in the first half of the year as it seeks to add to its growing number of trophies.
“Our preparations for the second half of the season have gone really well and I think we have taken another step forward in terms of performance,” he said. “The drivers, the BMW 320si and the boys in the garage all gelled really well in the first half of the year, and now with some good testing under our belts we all believe we can maintain our high standards and challenge for race wins in the remaining rounds.
“That won't be easy with so many other good teams and drivers on the grid alongside us, but we are determined to show that we can be right up there and consistently win silverware on merit.”