Rob Collard fought his way to a trio of top-10 finishes at Donington Park last weekend to come away feeling confident about the remainder of the 2015 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season.
Although he could not repeat his race-winning feat from Brands Hatch, the West Surrey Racing man emerged from a difficult qualifying session to climb from 19th to the top eight in race one the following day, adding finishes of sixth and fourth to his Sunday results while also leading the field twice in race three.
Collard’s top-10 hat-trick leaves him seventh in the championship and just 22 points adrift heading to Thruxton, a circuit which BMW won at last year in the hands of eventual champion, Colin Turkington.
Speaking after another solid weekend, Collard said: “I feel this is going to be a good season for me and everyone at WSR and Team JCT600 with GardX.”
After a qualifying session he dubbed very disappointing, the former Independent champion climbed through the field intently from 19th on the grid to an eventual eighth place, a double overtake on move Adam Morgan and Jack Goff the most eye-catching.
Collard told TCF afterwards: “Qualifying [on Saturday] didn’t go to plan. There were a couple of issues which we changed overnight and now we’ve found an improvement.
“We benefited in that a few people chose the soft tyre for race one and those drivers fell back, so we naturally gained a few places.”
After collecting sixth place in the second encounter of the day, the BMW driver then returned to the front of the field in the final race. Despite losing out to Josh Cook and Aron Smith, the pair’s coming together at Craner Curves put Collard back into the lead momentarily before dropping back to fourth place by the flag, which he later admitted was a great result on the much-discussed softer tyres.
“Race three was one of the most exciting and dramatic races to be involved in”, added Collard, “We could have won but it could have also been a lot worse as there was just so much going on. To get fourth with the soft tyre was a great result.”