Thruxton: Collard: Age is just a number!

Joint BTCC point's leader Rob Collard points out there can be no substitute for experience as two of championship's longest serving drivers lead the early title race after Thruxton.
West Surrey Racing's Rob Collard says his early joint lead of the 2016 British Touring Car Championship race, alongside fellow series veteran Matt Neal, has highlighted the importance of experience after Thruxton.

Collard and Neal, who both endured a whirlwind of differing fortunes during a roller-coaster Thruxton weekend, currently share the ascendency at the top of the table having accumulated 101-points so far this season - three ahead of WIX Racing's Adam Morgan in third.

Although Collard was able to negotiate his way through the mayhem and score three strong top-six finishes – second in race two showcasing his remarkable fightback – the BMW driver had all but written his title aspirations off after qualifying in 18th.

Indeed, overnight changes made to Collard's BMW 125i M Sport proved to be vital ingredient in which allowed the 47-year old to claw his way back into contention from 18th to 6th in race one.

“I'm absolutely delighted to be the joint leader of championship after three rounds. It shows that age is just a number! You've virtually got two of the oldest boys at the top. Its experience that's counting at the moment,” said Collard.

“We struggled in qualifying and I went to bed on Saturday night thinking my championship might be over, but it came back to me. We changed the car overnight and it was awesome.

“We fettled the car from each race to compensate the ballast and the car was the best it's been in race three.

“In terms of an engineering point of view, WSR are the best team here and that's what is being proven. We haven't got the fastest package in the pit-lane but we're doing the best job of optimising it.”

The timing of Collard's resurgent push towards the title could prove ideal as the series heads to a set of circuits, in Oulton Park and Croft, which has historically proven to be something of a fortress for BMW machinery.

Collard's WSR team mate's Sam Tordoff and Jack Goff are also a prominent feature in the title race, both sitting sixth and seventh in the standings, less than 20-points adrift of the championship summit.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Rob Collard (GBR) Team JCT600 with GardX BMW 125i M Sport
Matt Simpson, Team Dynamics, [Credit: BTCC Media]
Rob Austin, Handy Motorsport [Credit: Handy Motorsport]
Andrew Jordan, WSR Pirtek BMW [Credit:Jakob Ebrey]
Mat Jackson, Motorbase Performance, Shredded Wheat [Credit: Motorbase]
Gordon Shedden, Matt Neal, Halfords Yuasa Racing [Credit: Halfords Yuasa]
Ant Whorton-Eales,, BTCC [Credit:]
Mat Jackson, Motorbase Performance, Shredded Wheat [Credit: Motorbase]
Senna Proctor, Power Maxed Racing, BTCC [Credit: BTCC media]
WSR BMW  - Gardx / JCT 600 teams champions
WSR BMW  - Gardx / JCT 600 teams champions

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