Sam Tordoff offered his apologies to West Surrey Racing team-mate Rob Collard, following the pair’s collision at the start of the opening Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race from Snetterton.
Collard’s BMW 125i suffered a severe hit in the left rear quarter as the pack raced towards the first corner of the day’s opening 12-lapper, his team-mate Tordoff the culprit.
Tordoff continued with minor front-end damage to his BMW on his way to 11th place, while Collard was spun out a corner later at Montreal and crawled back to the pits with a puncture sustained in the initial contact with Tordoff.
Speaking to The Checkered Flag afterwards, Tordoff apologised to his team-mate, saying: “Unfortunately I’ve done it to my own team-mate and I can only apologise.
“I’ve got a few problems with the clutch and didn’t get off the line well, Rob made a good start as usual, came round the outside, no problems with that.
“And on the run down to turn one I was busy trying to stop Tom Ingram coming past me and I just looked in the mirror at exactly the same time that Rob’s hit the brakes, simple as that, just didn’t see him, I was looking in a completely different direction. That certainly was not the intention.
“I’ve hit him with such a huge whack that, if it’d been anyone else, I’d have done a really good job on them!”
Team-mate Collard added to TCF that his incident brought echoes of Oulton Park, where he was taken out by team-mate, Andy Priaulx
“It’s just a shame it’s my team-mate, that’s the second time this season now and it’s frustrating. It wasn’t intentional, I don’t believe for one second that it was. It was just a misjudgement by Sam.
“It is just ruining the season for me. It’s the third time this season I’ve been taken out from the rear. It’s one of the problems of rear-wheel drive BMWs.
“It was all done in turn one. I got a slight bit of contact down into turn two, but I was coming into there with a puncture.”
Both drivers confirmed that their BMWs will be repaired before the second race of the day, which gets underway at 2.35pm.