Despite suffering one of the biggest shunts seen in modern day British Touring Car Championship racing, Rob Collard insists that he would be ‘ready to race’ instantly again after emerging unhurt from his monster accident at Silverstone last weekend.
The West Surrey Racing driver was an innocent bystander from a collision between Gordon Shedden and Jack Clarke ahead of him exiting Becketts corner during race two at the 1.6-mile national circuit at Silverstone, the BMW 125i tipped onto its roof as the fishtailing Ford Focus of Clarke half-spun into his path.
Collard’s machine barrel-rolled down the circuit resulting in gasps around the venue and an instant race stoppage with one lap remaining to extract the experienced BTCC racer, who emerged dazed but unscathed in the accident.
Despite the severity of the crash, Collard said that he would instantly return to a race car if prompted, the Knockhill race winner lying sixth in the championship standings with one meeting of 2014 remaining at Brands Hatch GP next month.
Collard said: “I was bracing myself for that initial hit on the roof and my natural instinct then was to just hang on. The marshals got to the car very quickly and got me out – they did a great job, as did the entire medical team. It’s a testament to West Surrey Racing and the NGTC rules in the BTCC that these cars are very very safe.
“I’m absolutely ready to get back in the car and I’d race tomorrow if I could but I’m not sure the car will be. If any team can get the car ready for Brands Hatch then it’s WSR but it’ll take a monumental effort from everyone. I’m 100 per cent a team player and I want to be out there to try and help Colin [Turkington] and the team win all four championships.”
WSR team boss Dick Bennetts added: “It was obviously a stressful day for everyone considering Rob’s accident and we’re just delighted he is okay. We can build new cars so that’s not a problem but we can’t get a new Rob! It was a big one but the strength of the WSR-designed NGTC BMW 125i M Sport was there for all to see.
“I’d also like to send out a big thank you to the whole TOCA medical crew, the Silverstone marshals and everyone else involved in what was our biggest touring car accident since we entered the BTCC!”
Collard’s WSR squad face a race repair the wrecked 125i, as the team focus on their attempts to wrap up the BTCC title with championship-leading driver, Colin Turkington.