Rob Collard has been a BTCC mainstay for nearly two decades, after starting out his career in hot-rods and single-seaters. Third place in the Vauxhall Sri V6 Championship in 1999 precipitated a full-time tin-top switch, and the Hampshireman’s maiden BTCC campaign in 2000 yielded fourth position in the Class B standings.
A couple of troubled seasons in the Production Class with his own Collard Racing team followed, allied to a handful of outings in the FIA European Touring Car Championship, before a breakthrough was achieved in 2003 with Independents’ Cup glory in a Vauxhall Astra Coupé – in front of a number of better-funded rivals. After a less successful campaign in 2004, Collard moved to West Surrey Racing in 2005 in an MG ZS, claiming two outright victories and remaining with the squad as it morphed into Team RAC in 2006.
A difficult year in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB in 2007 prompted a BTCC return in 2008 with Motorbase Performance, with Collard tallying a brace of triumphs in 2009 en route to sixth spot in the classification. In 2010, he re-joined WSR and has remained there ever since, winning three times in 2012 as he sped to fifth in the title chase, his best finish to-date. In 2015, Rob matched that victory tally, but greater inconsistency restricted him to tenth in the points.
Collard entered his seventh consecutive year with WSR in 2016, and produced his best performance yet. Two race wins and some typically swashbuckling driving saw him head into the finale weekend as one of eight drivers in with a chance of overall Drivers’ honours. As it happened, though, Collard would have to settle for being a key factor in WSR’s Manufacturer and Teams’ titles at the end of what was a fantastic season all-round for the Surrey outfit.
Collard stayed behind the wheel of the 125i M Sport for 2017, scoring a race win at Thruxton, plus an additional six podiums and going on to 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.
His 2018 season ended at Snetterton thanks to two high speed incidents. He was ruled out of the next two race weekends on medical grounds, and was replaced by son Ricky for the remainder of the season. He took victory in Race 3 at Oulton Park.
The Hampshire racer’s long affiliation with West Surrey Racing and rear-wheel drive machinery came to an end after an eight-year stint as he made a move to Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing for 2019.
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Date of Birth: 1 October 1968
Place of Birth: Frimley, Surrey
Lives: Eversley, Hampshire
Team: Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing
Car: Vauxhall Astra
BTCC Debut: Oulton Park, 29 May 2000
* BTCC Races includes 38 races in Production classBTCC Races: 474
2003 BTCC Independent Cup winner