By Chris Roberts/Widerviewphoto.com
Eversley’s Rob Collard, driving a BMW 320i for EBay Motors/WSR won the opening race of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch, Kent last weekend.
|Collard wins Race 1|
After qualifying ion 3rd place on the grid for the first race Collard had the chance to shine as he converted this into a fine race victory. After getting his usual strong start to lead at the first corner Collard was briefly shuffled down to fourth place but a clash of Plato & Newsham at Paddock Hill bend allowed him to nip past both as well as 2011 champion Matt Neal to retake the lead which he defended strongly to the flag.
This was his first win since 2009 and in that period he had been 2nd over a dozen times.
As Collard commented “I didn’t think we could win first time out, so I’m pleased for the team but I really didn’t expect it. I’m delighted to be back with the eBay Motors team again this season and happy to have started with a win and after a long time since my last time I celebrated with a “doughnut” at the end. We’ve need to review the data to improve our setup to improve the total package.”
|Collard hold off Neal|
From pole position Race two saw Collard again leading the eBay Motors challenge in sixth place having slipped back from the front thanks to the extra ballast added to his car following his earlier victory.
Completing a personal hat-trick, Rob was again the top eBay Motors driver in race three as he repeated his result from race two with sixth place after leading the early part until tyre degradation issues. He now leaves Brands Hatch in 4thplace in the championship just nine points off the championship leader Plato. In the Independents’ championship, he lies second behind Jordan, again nine points off the lead.
With the team only moving over to the new BMW turbo engine, tuned by Neil Brown Engineering, just before the season there is still more setup and tweaking needed to make the BMW a car to beat.
The next round takes place at the east Midlands circuit of Donington Park on April 14th & 15th