Rob Collard was delighted to return to the podium in the British Touring Car Championship’s latest meeting at Knockhill, in by far the best weekend of the season for the BMW driver.
The 2003 Independent champion secured a hat-trick of top-six finishes at the Scottish venue which continued to be kind to him having previously grabbed his maiden BTCC win back in 2005 as well as a famous double victory last season with West Surrey Racing.
After qualifying down in 12th, Collard recovered well to climb six places in race one, before improving further to fourth in the second encounter and then clinching a long-awaited first rostrum visit in the reverse-grid finale in Fife by holding off eBay Motors team-mate Colin Turkington for third spot.
Collard described the visit to Scotland as his best showing of the 2013 season, a weekend which he felt could have been improved further had he not been hampered by a steering issue in the 30-minute qualifying session on Saturday that potentially cost him a top-five grid slot.
“It’s a bit of shame we had the problem in qualifying, as without that, we would have been in the top three or four and would have started race day where we finished it”, Collard reflected.
“However, this was still my best weekend of the season so far and race one was fantastic. The car really came alive on the soft tyre and I was able to fight my way forwards, and could then build on that in race two.
“In the final race, I got away well and settled in behind Andrew and I thought we’d be able to keep Matt at bay; even with the Safety Car. His tyres seemed to come back to him and he pounced when I had an awkward landing at the chicane although I was catching him again at the end. With more laps, I think I could have retaken second.”
Already out of title contention lying 14th in the championship with three rounds to go, Collard was highly encouraged by his Knockhill weekend, adding: “I was out of the title race a long time ago but its been good to pick up three top six finishes this weekend, and to put some good points on the board.”