Rob Collard Now ‘Hungrier’ For Success Heading To Croft


Rob Collard says he now feels hungrier to succeed in the 2014 British Touring Car Championship heading to Croft this weekend, admitting that he feels much more confident behind the wheel of the West Surrey Racing BMW 125i than he did last season.

Collard sealed two podium finishes at Oulton Park in the fourth event of the 10-round season, extending his tally to three rostrum visits in 2014 on a weekend that saw team-mate Colin Turkington also confirm the pace of WSR’s BMW with two victories.

After a troublesome season last year where he struggled to adapt initially to the then-new BMW 125i machine, Collard said in the build-up to Croft that he now feels much happier with the car 12 months later, and more determined to return to winning ways.

“I do feel a lot happier with my racing and I’m hungry as ever when I’m in the car now”, the 45-year-old told The Checkered Flag on Wednesday.

“The car feels a bit like the old 3-Series used to because it really responds when you want it to. That was a bit of the problem we had last year and now I feel a lot more confident that the car is going to do what I want it to do.”

Collard has kept his team-mate Turkington honest throughout the current season, and says that the team – who shone at Croft last season with pole and two wins – will be quick at the technical North Yorkshire circuit this weekend as he looks for his first win since Knockhill 2012.

Not fussed about the threat of storms for the weekend, Collard added: “I’d like it to stay dry at Croft this weekend. The BMW is quick whether it’s wet or dry as we’ve shown, but I think we’ll take whatever we’re given really.

Collard (10) and Turkington (5) have flew for BMW this year (Photo: btcc.net)
Collard (10) and Turkington (5) have flew for BMW this year (Photo: btcc.net)

“The BMW gets out of the slower corners so well and we’ve always had great traction which I think has really helped us. This weekend, I think there’s no reason why we can’t do very well again; WSR have a good record at Croft, so I’m looking forward to it.”

Looking back on the first four rounds of the season, Collard could not help but refer back to his spin in the wet second encounter at Donington Park as a missed opportunity, and also pondered the manner in which he was turned around by MG’s Jason Plato in race three at Oulton Park which prevented a potential hat-trick of podiums.

“I feel like I threw away a podium at Donington where we had a good weekend, then last time at Oulton Park I was nudged off the podium by Jason [Plato] which was frustrating.”

Collard currently lies fifth in the championship as reward for his solid start to the 2014 season, although the 2003 Independent champion said that he is not thinking about the chance to cause a stir in the championship battle just yet.

“We’re fifth at the moment which is nice, but I’m not thinking about the championship”, added Collard, who lies 58 points behind team-mate Turkington at the top of the standings.

“I’ll keep doing what I’m doing and keep on fighting for wins and the best results I can, then we’ll just see where we end up. But if Colin or [Andrew] Jordan have a slip up or don’t finish a couple of races, then I’ll be there to hopefully give them a hard time if the chance comes!”

Rob Collard so far in 2014:

Podiums

3

Top five finishes

6

Results outside top 10 (including DNFs)

2

 

 

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