Record Breakers | 7/13 | Rob Collard
We’re looking back at 2017’s record 13 different Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race winners, and next up it’s Team BMW’s Rob Collard.
Hampshireman Collard produced a typically swashbuckling start, ensuring he would be in the top six by the time the race was red flagged early-on. The BMW racer had fired his 125i M Sport beyond four rivals before the impact of Lloyd’s MG meant Armco repairs were required and a delay ensued.
No matter though, as Collard produced a similarly spritely getaway at the restart – another quick launch, hoisting his 1 Series into third spot and right onto the back of the factory Hondas ahead. Jack Goff was up there too, in Eurotech Racing’s Civic Type R.
A real set-to into the final chicane after the high-speed blast around the back of Thruxton Circuit saw Collard draw three wide with Goff and Shedden alongside. Notoriously racy come Sunday, Collard came out on top of that particular battle with Neal now in his sights out front.
The drama wasn’t done there, however, as Neal’s Honda appeared to be in trouble – coasting down the pit-lane and handing the race lead to Collard. Shedden in the sister Halfords Yuasa Racing machine dispatched Goff for second spot, and looked to be hot on the heels of the leader.
With the race building to a climax, things were unfortunately cut short after Martin Depper’s Motorbase Ford ran out of road at Goodwood and scattered debris over the track. Another red flag, and this time that would be that – leaving Collard to notch a first-ever victory on home turf. Shedden came home second with Tom Ingram rounding out the podium.
“That was an explosive few laps!” beamed Collard post-race. “The BMW felt absolutely stunning and I’m so pleased for the team. We did a lot at the first start, and then the re-start was similarly textbook. I had a really good opening lap and then I’m not sure what happened to Matt – I could see sparks coming off – so it was obviously a shame for him but I will take this one and with pride.”
Rob scored an additional six podiums and would go onto finish fifth in the overall standings, despite sitting out the whole finale weekend and two of the three rounds at Silverstone following the after-effects of an accident in Round 25.