Rob Collard says that his Silverstone accident was possibly the ‘biggest of his career’ on the eve of the final Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship meeting of the season at Brands Hatch, the West Surrey Racing man targeting a podium to cap off his season.
Onlookers gasped at Silverstone two weekends ago as the BMW 125i rolled down the back straight following contact from the spinning Ford of Jack Clarke in the latter laps of race two, Collard suffering bruising but no serious injuries.
The man himself said that the accident was one of the biggest of his racing career, reminiscing to The Checkered Flag: “It was a big, big crash. It’s hard to describe it in any other way.
“Probably one of the biggest ones of my whole career. All I know is that it bloody hurt!
“You don’t even get the chance to think about it. You just lock in focus as to what’s happening and try to hang on to minimize the impact – it’s naturally your instinct.”
The effects of the accident only showed themselves the following week it appeared, Collard having initially felt no serious effects from the crash other than bruising and an initial shock.
The former Independent BTCC champion believes that he has fully recovered from the shunt, and turned his attentions to the final weekend of 2014.
He added: “I don’t think I could have driven a [BTCC] car again that week if I’m honest. I drove my road car on the Wednesday and felt as though I was going to throw up. That’s when I knew that I wasn’t ready to do anything too quickly.
“Thankfully – touch wood – I’ve made a full recovery now, the car has been repaired and we can hopefully be back up the front.”
The repair job of the WSR squad begin earlier in the week building up to the final event in Brands Hatch this weekend (11/12 October), their efforts rewarded as the BMW 125i will be racing in Kent.
Collard praised his squad’s hard work, and ventured out into Saturday’s first practice session at the GP circuit with only a misfire to concern himself about.
Collard continued: “The team have worked faultlessly. They’ve worked so, so, so hard over the two works to get the car turned round and it’s actually fine.
“We’ve still got a misfire at the moment which is why we were a bit down in free practice one, but I’m sure that we will get it sorted in time for qualifying.
“It’s just getting the heat cycle up and running at the moment and bedding in brakes during free practice one. We missed the shakedown test this week, but the car feels good, so we just have this little electrical problem to fix.”
The BMW man currently lies sixth in the championship standings, 32 points behind fourth-placed Mat Jackson of whom he is targeting in the final weekend.
Collard’s ultimate aim for the weekend is a podium finish also, during a strong season that also saw a victory come his way at Knockhill.
“I think it will take a massive effort and a bad day for [Gordon] Shedden and [Andrew] Jordan to be able to get fourth, but I think fifth is definitely within reach. We’ll be certainly going for fifth.
“It will just be nice to finish well and really reward the team for the work that they’ve done. I’d say, to get a podium tomorrow would be like winning the championship.”