Top 10 BTCC Drivers of the Year 2012:
BMW 320si (S2000)
Championship points – Overall/Independents:
Championship position – Overall/Independents:
Having been forced to fight against the turbo brigade in 2011, Rob Collard headed into the 2012 BTCC season eager to try and challenge at the front after his eBay Motors team switched to a turbo engine of its own.
The whole package came together late in the day but it didn't stop Collard from taking a stunning win first time out at Brands Hatch as he kick-started a scoring run that would go on until after the summer break.
Even when the team admitted it was still learning about the BMW with the turbo engine installed, Collard consistently scored in the early part of the season – aided regularly by lightning quick starts that saw him make up places early on, even if he sometimes then found himself shuffled back by rivals in NGTC-spec machines.
Although the second half of the season included four no-scores that would end his hopes of winning the Independents title, it also featured a weekend that Collard insisted was his best in the BTCC to date – with a front-row start at Knockhill being followed by two victories.
Having managed to take the challenge to the NGTC-spec cars in 2012, Collard will hope to impress again next year when the eBay Motors team joins the Next Generation gang itself and his target will be to challenge for the championship crown - if a deal can be struck with the BMW team for another year behind the wheel.
Crash.net's BTCC Driver of the Year:
9. Aron Smith
10. Tom Onslow-Cole