Rob Collard Expecting “Tough” BTCC Battles At Croft

Rob Collard believes that overtaking may be more difficult for him in the fifth Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship meeting of the season at Croft, starting 13th on the grid for round 13.

The West Surrey Racing driver was out of luck in qualifying at the North Yorkshire venue on Saturday, involved in a session-ending incident with Honda’s Matt Neal at Hawthorn’s.

Collard therefore starts 13th on the grid for Sunday’s opening race, but he told The Checkered Flag that he has pace to spare in the BMW 125i.

He said: “Free practice two was really good. We had a good race run and we’re really happy with the car. I knew we’d be quick and it was game on, so to be taken out and in that way is punishing because the track was getting faster.

“I think it’s going to be very, very tough tomorrow to do it. Especially now with this hard tyre as well.”

Although his overtaking prowess was displayed regularly during a hectic fourth meeting of the season at Oulton Park two weeks ago, Collard expects the same feat to be more difficult this Sunday.

“I think it’s track dependent”, said Collard of his overtaking opportunities at Croft. “I think, just from driving around in FP2, trying to overtake some of the slower cars was quite difficult.”

The incident with Neal was one that Collard thinks may well have cost him a top-five position on the grid – a place held instead by his championship-leading team-mate, Sam Tordoff.

“I don’t get the opportunity to qualify where we should have been which is top-five or six. The car’s mega, and at that point that’s where I was.”