Collard racks up the laps in first outing with PMR
Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing’s new recruit, Rob Collard, took to the wheel of a PMR Vauxhall Astra for the first time yesterday, racking up more than 130 trouble-free laps at Brands Hatch.
Collard, who won the 2003 Independents’ honours in a Vauxhall Astra, hit the track to open the outfit’s pre-season testing programme in earnest ahead of the 2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship, with new-team mate Jason Plato set to join the team on track next week at Snetterton.
The Hampshire driver managed to lap continually quicker as the day went on, with the legendary Kent race track subjected to a bevvy of winter weather conditions. Having competed successfully in rear-wheel drive BTCC machinery since 2008, the return to front-wheel drive is something that has troubled less-experienced drivers in the championship over the years, but Collard seemingly took the change in his stride, completing 133 laps on the day.
Going back to a front-wheel-drive car was always going to be slightly strange, but I’d got the feel of the car after a few laps,” said Collard. “The team were spot on from the off, and we made changes throughout the day that saw us putting some really strong and consistent times down. Martin (Broadhurst, Team Manager) and the team have put together a fantastic car, and I’m feeling really good about the coming season.”
“Working with a driver as experienced as Rob can only benefit us as a team,” added Broadhurst. “The feedback he has been able to give us on the car after just a few laps has been fantastic, and he used the day to settle into the car and get a feel for it, stating early on that he felt extremely comfortable with it. Coupling this with Rob’s experience, alongside the last two years of data we have garnered, we’re feeling more positive than ever heading into a fresh BTCC campaign.”