Rob Collard said that he has “offers on the table” to consider for the 2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, admitting he has taken heart from personal performances in his most recent season.
The West Surrey Racing driver endured a mixed final meeting of the season at Brands Hatch GP circuit, ending with three top-10 finishes that left him 10th in the championship standings despite feeling that he missed out on a reverse grid opportunity.
“It’s been an eventful day really”, Collard said to The Checkered Flag afterwards. “It’s a shame we didn’t get a reverse grid pole, because I think we could have driven away.
“I’m quite pleased that I finished with a strong race although it wasn’t a podium, but the last two races of the day have been very good.”
Back in 2005, Collard first moved across to the WSR outfit racing the team’s then sole MG ZS, spending two years at Motorbase Performance in between his stints at Dick Bennetts‘ outfit between 2008 and 2009.
The former Independents’ Championship winner said he has options alongside a reported WSR offer for 2016, adding: “I’d be happy to stay with WSR, as always.
“There’s nothing set in concrete as of yet”, Collard stated. “There’s a couple of offers on the table and there’s an offer obviously to stay with this team.”
Although finishing lower in the championship than his WSR team-mates Sam Tordoff and Andy Priaulx, Collard clinched more wins in 2015 than both with three, after successes at Brands Hatch Indy, Croft and Knockhill.
The experienced Collard felt he had done himself proud over the recently-concluded campaign against strong stablemates, but felt that qualifying improvements are still needed to improve his fortune.
“I think I’ve done a good job this year. I’ve had two really strong team-mates and I’ve proved that I’m as good as Sam Tordoff and Andy Priaulx”, Collard commented.
“I’ve won more races than them although they’ve beaten me in qualifying. There’s no doubt about that and it’s my weakness, which I’ve got to work on during the winter to find some of that one lap pace.
“I seem to set up a car for race day rather than Saturday for qualifying. I have to be more aggressive with the car on Saturdays now. I know that once we get going in the race, I really come alive and I’m a different person when the lights go out.
“Generally, I’m happy with the year. It’s been a bloody good year – I’ve enjoyed it.”
While WSR surrendered their titles in 2015, Collard insists that the improvements necessary to regain the crowns are already clear to the BMW outfit for next season, citing more power as the focal point.
“There’s stuff we can do with a bit of extra money. You can make the car a championship-winning car if you have another half a million pounds to chuck at it over the winter”, Collard concluded.
“We haven’t, but we can improve it and there’s definitely room to – not so much in the chassis but the engine department.”