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Snetterton: Collard optimistic despite 'very disappointing' qualifying

West Surrey Racing's Rob Collard admits his disappointment in qualifying 18th but remains optimistic over his prospects ahead of tomorrow's first Snetterton BTCC race.
West Surrey Racing's Rob Collard remains optimistic over his prospects ahead of tomorrow's first British Touring Car Championship race despite qualifying a lowly 18th at Snetterton.

The BMW 125i M Sport driver produced his equal worst qualifying run of the season after admitting he and his engineer took a miscalculation on the set up of his car.

Collard had already endured a trying run hindered by steering issues during FP1 but was left encouraged following his performance from the second 40-minute session.

The 47-year old goes into the opening race trailing his championship leading team mate Sam Tordoff by 12-points.

"I've cooled down a bit now but I'm very disappointed with qualifying to be eighteenth. Between my engineer and myself we've made the car go backwards. We chose a set up that we thought would work because we were strong in FP2 but we've made the car worse," said Collard.

"As a team, that was bad move on our behalf but we win as a team and lose as a team. We've got a very busy and tricky day tomorrow.

"We had a slight steering issue this morning. The team fixed it and that wasn't a problem. There was no mechanical problems we just didn't get the best set up out of the car.

"It just shows how tough qualifying is in the BTCC. I've never had such bad qualifying form as I have done this season. I don't really know what the problem is."

Already with plenty of experience of having to claw his way back up the order this season, Collard has set himself the target of launching himself in the reverse grid draw come the third race.

"Anything is possible. When I put my helmet on Sunday morning I'm the most determined driver on the grid. I've got to make sure we don't get hooked up in anyone else's problems so I can hopefully get inside the top-ten for race one," Collard continued.

"I've just got to push hard for a top-ten in race one, top six in race two in time for the reverse grid in race three.

"It's all about the start here. The first four corners here on race one are very tough. It's carnage at the hairpins so I've got to keep out of trouble and hopefully pick up a few positions through other people's mistakes."



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