Rob Collard took second place in the Independents' Cup category in round eight of the British Touring Car Championship at Silverstone yesterday, a fitting reward for the Hampshire driver and his team who worked flat out to completely rebuild his Vauxhall Astra after a huge accident at Thruxton two weeks ago.

The Collard Racing team had shown their quality by presenting the former BTCC Clio runner with an immaculate car at Silverstone, complete with the livery of new sponsor Brackenwood Windows.

"The guys have done wonders," said an appreciative Collard, "To be honest, they worked so hard that, if the race had been on Thursday afternoon, we could have made it - despite only receiving the bodyshell back on Tuesday morning. We're also pleased to have a new sponsor on board form this weekend, it's great to have their support."

David Metcalfe from Brackenwood Windows had visited the team at Thruxton and, after Collard's drama there, decided to team up with the privateer team.

"Thruxton was the first time I had been to a meeting to see Rob race and, after everything that happened there, I felt Brackenwood Windows could help and support him," he said, "We're pleased to be with him here at Silverstone."

Saturday's qualifying was disappointing for Collard and the team, as a niggling misfire affected the car at speed and proved difficult to trace. The problem also hampered performance in the opening race on Sunday afternoon.

"Unfortunately, we had the same problem as in qualifying," Collard confirmed after the opening race, "I made a good start and got past Phil Bennett and James Kaye but, after about 400 yards, it was misfiring. I need to get over this barrier of the first few yards of the race!

"The engine runs fine in the pits, the guys just have to keep changing things around and see what happens. We won't know whether we have fixed it until the next race - something seems to be breaking down at speed."

Fortunately, the team's work between races cleared the problem, with Collard bringing his car home ninth overall and second in class, scoring valuable championship points that keep him third in the championship.

"The car ran very well - although, for once, I didn't make a great start," he said after his second place, "I got blocked off the line whichever way I went, and the first three or four laps were interesting as there was a lot of contact going on and I was under pressure from behind. Then the race opened up and I was able to gain places.

"I was catching the class leader but, after my stop, I had a brake problem and I had to nurse the car in the final laps. It's a great result for their team after everything they have done since Thruxton - we needed points and that is what we got. I'm very pleased."