West Surrey Racing's Rob Collard says winning the opening British Touring Car Championship race of the day was 'like a game of chess' after three bold moves paid dividends for the BMW driver at Knockhill.

Collard was in inspired form around a circuit, where the 46-year old notoriously excels at, and claimed his eleventh career BTCC victory ahead of Mat Jackson and team mate Andy Priaulx.

The BMW 125i M Sport driver pulled off a bold move around the outside of his team mate Sam Tordoff at turn one before repeating two clinical overtakes on Priaulx and Jackson later on in the race.

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"That's what I would clarify as a very solid strong win," Collard told crash.net. "I had to overtake three very, very strong drivers and also keep Gordon [Shedden] at bay behind us. That was tough.

"But I knew I was the race went on I was getting strong and I could see Andy [Priaulx] and Mat [Jackson] beginning to struggle. I just sat back patiently but when the chance arrived, I pounced.

"It was a bit of a game of chess really. Get through the first couple of laps and then settle down, it was a good solid win for BMW.

"I think Andy went for a move on Mat, which let me get up on in the inside of him and then I pulled the same move on Mat a lap later. We had really good traction and that something which is a key attribute of the BMW."

The now 11-time race winner was pleased with the balance of his BMW but now carries the maximum amount of success ballast into the second race as a consequence of winning the first.

"Absolutely, we had a good balance in the car and I didn't have to push too hard, too early. I think we could have been a little bit quicker if I hadn't of been boxed in behind Andy," Collard continued.

"I needed to go with Andy, though, because Gordon was behind and nibbling - he's not a driver which you can give half a gap to.

"We're just looking now to see what way we're going to go with the set up of the car to carry the weight. We're at a track where you don't really want to carry any weight. The car bounces off the chicane and with 75 kilos you're going to land really hard."