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Jerry Zedman
05-10-2005, 11:31 AM
Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (WSR press release)

Free Practice & Qualifying

Rob Collard continued the team's trend of setting fast lap times straight out of the box. In first practice he was eighth fastest and in second practice, fastest overall. Rob qualified seventh fastest for the first of Sunday's races.

Rob Collard: "I was really happy with the car in both practice sessions. We were close to the pace in session one without using new tyres. To be fastest in session two was a mega result around a circuit like Brands Hatch GP. I thought we were on for a top four qualifying position but perhaps I didn't get the best from the car. Seventh was a bit frustrating."

Race 1

Weather / Track: Sunny / Dry

Car no.21 Rob Collard Start Position: 7th Finish Position: DNF

Rob took full advantage of the WSR MG's handling to move into contention for a top five position until his car was sent spinning off into the gravel and out of the race, following a botched overtaking manoeuvre by the Honda of Gareth Howell who was later punished by the officials.

Rob Collard: "The car felt really good and I was soon past Colin Turkington's Vauxhall and then Howell. I felt we could have finished in the top four, but Howell clearly doesn't know how to overtake people without crashing into them. He did exactly the same thing to me here in 2003."


Race 2

Weather / Track: Sunny / Dry

Car no.21 Rob Collard Start Position: 17th Finish Position: 9th

Rob swiftly moved up to seventh until the team made the strategic decision to reduce their pace and try for a tenth place finish. This would give them pole position for race three, which is the finishing order of the top ten from race two reversed.

Rob Collard: "It started to get a bit fraught because a few others had the same idea. On the penultimate lap I got hit and spun off the track. I rejoined in 11th but then made a place when the driver who hit me, Fiona Leggate, retired with damage to her car. Pole position was mine until I was promoted to ninth, because the officials excluded, of all people, Howell for careless driving. That meant second on the reversed grid, but it was still a good position to be in."


Race 3 Reverse Grid Top Ten

Weather / Track: Sunny / Dry

Car no.21 Rob Collard Start Position: 2nd Finish Position: 1st

Rob took the lead at the start and led all the way, although came under intense pressure until the closing laps from SEAT's James Pickford. With just a few laps to go, their cars made contact, Pickford ran wide and Rob was clear to achieve his and the team's second victory of 2005 live on ITV1. Rob also set the fastest lap & a new BTCC lap record for Brands Hatch GP in a time of 1m33.148s.

Rob Collard: "I'd built up a good lead in the opening laps but then, just like the last two meetings when I've been leading, the safety car came out. At the restart, I took some deep breaths and pushed like mad. I was really pleased with the lap record. Pickford did well to hang on though, and it was a good fight between us until he tried a bit of an impossible move around the outside at Clearways. It was a shame we made contact but it's sometimes part of hard racing at this level. To end the season with a win for WSR is a great feeling. Everyone in the team has worked so hard this season for me and having seen the expertise and resources I definitely want to be here again in 2006."

Dick Bennetts, Team Principal, WSR: "What a way to end the season - a win and a new lap record with a car that is three years old, & slightly lacking in engine power. That was a great drive by Rob. Everybody in the team deserves to go into the winter on a high. In addition to running theĀ New Zealand entry in A1GP, WSR will over the next few weeks, be evaluating several options for 2006. We have shown the world that we can run at the front in different categories of motorsport, whether it be design, build & race in the BTCC, or develop a car for the new A1GP, World Cup of Motorsport."

GT
05-10-2005, 01:38 PM
I didnt realise about the positon changes after round 2... I thought Collard had started in pole, especially with that lead by the end of the first lap :D

Best of luck to Rob, Jason and WSR for 2006, you've all been brilliant towards us for the last few years! :drink2:

Jerry Zedman
05-10-2005, 01:44 PM
Rob,

The car that was to start from pole on the revised grid opted to start from the pits instead! So, Rob was starting in first place from slot 2 on the grid. :car1:

Wak
07-10-2005, 08:52 AM
Great weekend at Brands.
Nice to meet you all again :xyxwave:

Wak