|Collard with winners trophy in Angerville|
Eversley 16 year old Ricky Collard (son of BTCC race winner Rob Collard) has been racing hard in various karting championships this season, with support from Racing Steps Foundation, and is one race weekend away from potentially becoming world U18 karting champion. The races take place on the Middle East track at Bahrain over the weekend of 3rd to 5thNovember.
As Ricky explains below he has had an up and down year but is planning to finish on a high. His Dad Rob Collard, free from his British Touring Car Championship driving commitments, will support him in person in Bahrain.
“This year I have finished a very frustrating fifth position in the British championship. The reason why its been frustrating is because of potential I’ve shown at different times, but just haven’t been able to string it together, because of mechanical gremlins and crashes. Because of this I’ve been really inconsistent with my points scoring, and this that’s why I only could only manage fifth in the championship. “
|Collard in action at Angerville (FRA)|
“However in the CIK FIA U18 world championship it’s a different story. I am fourth overall at the moment with the most amounts of race wins and most amounts of pole position starts. At the first round (Braga) I finished 4th but however I struggled in the heats because of a bad qualifying, however in the first final I finished 12th and in the reverse grid I won. After the first round I left the weekend in 8th position overall. At the second round (Angerville) I qualified on pole and won all four of my heats making me the first driver ever to win all four heats and more importantly making me unbeatable going into Sundays final. “
“I knew because of my good results on Saturday I would have a physiological advantage over my rivals. However in the first final I could only manage 3rd and in the reverse grid I got hit off causing me to finish a disappointing 20th because of this I qualified 8th on the grid for the main final. “
“In the final I managed to make a good start with my teammate Ben Barnicoat pushing me across the line. We went right round the outside at the first corner putting me and Ben 5th and 6th I then managed to open up a bit of a gap and started to real in the other drivers picking them off one by one, but sadly I ran out of laps.”
“Despite this I still managed to finish a solid third position and this has now promoted me up to 4th in the championship and most importantly in with a chance of becoming a world champion. However this isn’t going to be easy and I’m definitely going to be seen as a dark horse going into the last round at Bahrain, but who doesn’t like the dark horse?”
In summing up his season to date Collard commented “I feel that this year has been a real credit to the team winning both European championships and a British championship, but I am extremely determined to reward the team for all of there hard work this year by winning the U18 world championship.“
“I would really like to thank everyone at Racing Steps Foundation for there support and giving me such a good opportunity to shine this year”
Images courtesy of Jakob Ebrey Photography