Rob Collard “Amazed” By Turkington’s Speed


Knockhill winner Rob Collard was full of admiration for West Surrey Racing team-mate Colin Turkington‘s ‘class’ performances during the most recent round of the 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season, and says he intends to improve on his own qualifying aggression.

The 2003 Independent BTCC champion finally broke his win drought of two years with a thrilling drive from sixth to first in the last of Knockhill’s trio of races, the trip to Fife again kind to the now four-time Knockhill winner.

Collard’s fine recovery from the back of the grid on Sunday morning after a grid penalty to the top step in the final race was rewarded with an improvement in the championship standings to fourth place, 89 points away from his series-leading team-mate.

2009 BTCC champion Turkington had also suffered a qualifying penalty applied from a Snetterton misdemeanor, but set the bar high after lapping almost half a second faster than nearest rival, Sam Tordoff.

Turkington has out-qualified his team-mate in all rounds bar the visit to Thruxton, and Collard admitted a sense of admiration over the sheer speed at times of his team-mate in 2014, particularly on Saturdays.

Turkington Knockhill BTCC 2014 3
(Photo: btcc.net)

Collard sung praises of the Northern Irishman, telling The Checkered Flag: “The qualifying pace he keeps showing has been blowing me away; I’m amazed by some of the things he does.”

He does not doubt his own speed either, adding: “You’ve still got to deliver and do it all yourself though. My strength is racing – that’s where I’m stronger than Colin – and Colin is strong in qualifying and when he’s at the front.

“If I can just push a bit harder in qualifying then I should be in a good position.”

Turkington lies 23 points clear of nearest rival Gordon Shedden, and was forced to put in possibly the drive of the 2014 season so far in Knockhill’s second race, charging through from 27th to fourth after being tagged into the gravel during the first race in a skirmish involving Mat Jackson and Jason Plato.

The #5 BMW 125i then carved almost mercifully through the pack to fourth – passing team-mate Collard along the way – and the latter said that Turkington’s drive warranted that of a champion.

“Colin is primed for a championship win really”, concluded a gracious Collard. “I think his drive in race two shows the class of a champion absolutely at his best.”

Collard heads to Rockingham on 6/7 September lying fourth in the championship, leaping ahead of reigning champion Andrew Jordan in the process following the trip to Scotland.

“We had some great results at Croft and Oulton Park so it’s nice to reinforce it”, concluded Collard. “We’ve been able to fight back and actually gained in the championship.”

Turkington v Collard – 2014 head-to-head:

Colin Turkington

Rob Collard

Qualifying

6 (two poles)

1

Wins

6

1

Podiums

13

6

Top-5 finishes

15

11

DNFs

2

1