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Croft: Collard exasperated following Neal clash

West Surrey Racing's Rob Collard falls victim of further ill-fortune after clashing with Matt Neal, an incident in which the triple champion has been reprimanded for at Croft.
Rob Collard's run of ill-fortune has shown no sign of abating after the West Surrey Racing driver found himself caught up in a red-flag incident with Matt Neal during qualifying ahead of tomorrow's British Touring Car race day at Croft.

Collard and Neal clashed midway through the 30-minute shootout when the triple champion's Honda Civic Type-R slid into the side of the WSR prepared BMW 125i M Sport, which had just exited the pit-lane.

Not only did the incident trigger an immediate red-flag but it also ended both of Neal and Collard's qualifying run. Neal has since received two penalty points for his part in the contact, which dropped the pair down to 16th and 17th.

Collard felt he did all he could to move out of the way for Neal, who had just begun a flying lap.

"I moved over to let Matt [Neal] through, gave him a load of space and he still manages to hit me. You couldn't write this script," said Collard.

"He came in far too hard into corner and drifted into me. I'm going at half his speed because he's on red hot tyres and starting a flying lap. I moved over. I've never had an issue with blocking people in qualifying.

"We spoke when we got out of the car and he apologised. It's a decent for him to say but it doesn't make it right. I know he didn't mean to do it on purpose because it's ruined his qualifying as well. Its soul destroying."

Regarding the incident Neal said: "I thought there was enough space but unfortunately we just touched wheels."

Despite originally dropping to 16th, Collard will now up to 13th on the grid having had his best prior to the incident reinstated after being investigated for exceeding track limits.



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