Rob Collard: Tough Opening Laps Cost Me Victory Chance

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Rob Collard said he was caught out by Tom Ingram in the frenetic opening laps of the second Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race of the day at Donington Park.

Collard made a lightning start to move up to third place from sixth on the grid, soon becoming second behind pole-sitter Aiden Moffat who struggled with maximum success ballast in the Laser Tools Racing Mercedes A-Class.

A tactical attempt to round the Mercedes at Coppice allowed Ingram to sneak inside the BMW man and challenge Moffat for the lead instead, Collard left disappointed to have been caught out in the early squabble.

“It was a tough opening couple of laps”, Collard told The Checkered Flag afterwards, ruing the way he allowed an opportunistic Ingram to move by him into second.

“I got up into second and then got held up by Moffat a little bit, tried to go out wide to cut back under him and Ingram just went and filled the gap.

“I was really compromised and that meant it was a real battle going into the chicane. I had to bounce over the kerb which was a bit clumsy but we got through it.”

The BMW driver was handed a slice of good fortune at the same chicane on the final lap of the race however, yellow flags denying the flying Team BMR Subaru Levorg GT of Ashley Sutton a chance to complete a pass on Collard for second spot.

“You can just see how fast the Subaru is”, added Collard. “You saw the potential of the car in qualifying yesterday and Ash is a fast driver as it is anyway.”

Collard and WSR Team Principal Dick Bennetts explained on Saturday that the BMW 125i and its RWD rivals suffered more from excessive use of the kerbs at the final chicane. After the opening two races of the day however, Collard said that the situation has become less of an issue.

“We can’t drive over the kerbs near enough as much as the FWD cars. At the chicane we’re a bit slower, but around the rest of the lap we’re a lot better today.”

The third race of the day is expected to get underway at 17:18.

Photo: BTCC Media

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