BTCC » 5 April 2009
Collard gives Motorbase first win
Rob Collard has taken his first win in the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship since the 2005 season finale to carry Airwaves BMW to its first ever win in the series.
The Motorbase Performance-run outfit emerged as one of the form teams during the second half of the 2008 campaign and Collard was able to carry that form into the race weekend as he qualified in third place and posted the fastest lap en-route to fourth in race one. However, a robust move on Colin Turkington in the late stages of race two enabled him to carry David Bartrum's squad to its first BTCC success.
At the start, both race one winner Matt Neal and second placed Fabrizio Giovanardi were once again slow away from the start, with Turkington and Collard storming between the Vauxhall pair on the run to Paddock Hill Bend. Giovanardi also got ahead of Neal, but both Vauxhall drivers were soon deposed by Stephen Jelley who stormed through to make it a BMW 1-2-3 at the front of the field. Further down the order, Tom Chilton took the Team Aon Ford Focus into the top ten at the end of the opening lap, but it wasn't to last for long as he soon slipped down the pack.
The positions out front remained static in a calm opening to the race, but on lap seven, Giovanardi dived inside Jelley into Clearways for third place and forced the BMW to run out wide, which also allowed team-mate Neal to come though into fifth place. Behind them, Adam Jones held sixth in the first Cartridge World SEAT, with Jason Plato, Dan Eaves, Gordon Shedden and Harry Vaulkhard rounding out the top ten.
Shedden was on a move after starting near the back following his race one retirement, and put the Team Dynamics Honda into eighth on lap eight as he battled past Eaves, and then took seventh from Plato on lap nine, only for the RML Chevrolet man to fight back on the following lap. However, Shedden then pushed Plato out of the way at Clearways on lap ten to reclaim the place – leaving Plato to battle hard to get back into the points.
Plato being forced wide allowed Andy Jordan to break into the top ten, and he made up a further place on lap twelve when Harry Vaulkhard ran wide out of Graham Hill Bend, dropping out of the top ten altogether as Dave Pinkney went tenth.
Shedden was then embroiled in a frantic battle with Adam Jones before eventually getting past into sixth place, while further down the order, Plato and Jonathan Adam were battling for eleventh place with Plato once again appearing to struggle with the handing of his car.
Back at the front, Turkington continued to lead from Collard as the top two broke away from the chasing pack, but on lap 19 Giovanardi suffered a front-right puncture – possibly as a result of his earlier contact with Jelley – and was forced to pit, moving Neal up to third and Jelley to fourth. Heading into the closing stages, Shedden now found himself fifth with Andy Jordan sixth, with Jones, Eaves, Pinkney and Adam rounding out the top ten.
Collard had closed onto the tail of Turkington, and with just two laps remaining, he made a forceful move for the lead at Druids, pushing Turkington wide to take the lead and then holding on through the final lap to secure victory, with Turkington running wide at Paddock Hill Bend while attempting to close the gap.
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