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Oulton Park: Collard draws upon positives after 'tough weekend'

WSR's Rob Collard says picking up two fastest laps along with gaining a handful of points acts as some sort of consolation following a 'tough' Oulton Park weekend.
West Surrey Racing's Rob Collard says picking up two fastest laps along with recovering to gain a handful of points during race three acts as some consolation following a 'tough' British Touring Car Championship meeting at Oulton Park.

The BMW 125i M Sport found himself out of position after qualifying in 16th and was involved in an early tangle with Eurotech's Jeff Smith during the first race, leaving him 23rd.

An inspired race two fightback looked set to atone for his previous disappointment but a further setback - in shape of a puncture whilst battling with MG's Josh Cook - relegated Collard back to square one.

It wasn't until race three where Collard, after staging yet another astonishing, if not greater charge through the pack, finally got his just reward with a top-six finish.

"I didn't think we would be able to repeat what we managed in race two," Collard told Crash.net. "So to do that in race three with the control tyre was a great achievement. To come away with two fastest laps and a few points is some sort of consolation after a tough weekend.

"What happened with Jeff [Smith] derailed our rhythm. We had a good rhythm up until that. We displayed great and character to fightback in race two but we ended getting a puncture from being squeezed up against the pit-wall – but that happens.

"We fought back through the field in race three and that's the only thing I can give back to the team."

Despite his trials and tribulations, Collard remains third in the BTCC standings - 26 points behind his team mate Sam Tordoff - as the title race moves to Croft, an infamous BMW stronghold.

However, Collard - although heralding the strength of the 1 Series package - plays the down the likelihood of a BMW domination due to the revised tyre ruling for Croft and Rockingham.

Instead of using the soft tyre in one of three races, the teams will now run the hard tyre alongside the medium compound rubber.

"I'm not sure how it's going to pan out with the altered tyre allocation. What people think might be a BMW domination, might not turn out that way," Collard explained.

"We'll have to wait and see. The BMW is awesome at the moment. All the good work the guys have done over the winter has really made it into a race and championship winning car. I think we're in good position for Croft."



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