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Collins targets full-time BTCC drive

28 December 2010

Ben Collins says he is targeting a full-time drive in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship following the end of his legal battle with the BBC.

Collins had been hit with legal action following the end of his tenure as The Stig on the hit show Top Gear, but that action has now been dropped by the BBC - enabling Collins to focus on his racing career and his new role with rival show Fifth Gear.

Collins made his BTCC debut in the final rounds of the 2010 season after joining the Airwaves BMW team and is now on the shortlist for the Motorbase-run team for 2011, when it will switch to running the Ford Focus STs campaigned by Team Aon this year.

Team boss David Bartrum was quoted in the Kent News last week as saying that Collins was 'certainly a possibility' to drive one of the cars and the man himself said he would be keen to return if given the chance.

“My BTCC outing at Brands Hatch was certainly wild, but in the third race I was matching the pace of both Steven [Kane] and Mat [Jackson] before I threw the car into the bloody gravel! We'd had no chance to set the car up because of the issues we had with the gearbox and then I was forced to use a different gearbox in a car that was cobbled together from the spare bits the team had. I certainly feel I have more to offer the team both on and off the track and I'd love to be back.

“Motorbase are a great team and the whole team feeds off Dave – he is a real enigma who is buzzing with energy!”

Collins added that he was also keen to extend his stay with the RML team in the Le Mans Series, having helped the team to secure the LMP2 title this year.

“I'd previously driven for RML back in 2003 and I was lucky to get the call from [team manager] Phil Barker to ask if I would drive the car and we went and won first time out in Portimao,” he said. “In recent years, I think teams looked at me and thought that I wasn't available to take up a drive because of filming schedules, but RML gave me a great chance to get back into a top sportscar.

“I'm working towards doing both the Le Mans 24 Hours and the BTCC next season. There are no firm plans at the moment, but I know that Le Mans doesn't clash with the BTCC and I would love to do both.”


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