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News 2008: Scottish Police Investigate Touring Cars

Some of Scotland's top Police drivers were given the opportunity to inspect the race cars of a leading Touring Car team last night (Thursday).

Motorbase Performance BMW visit the Scottish Police College, Tulliallan.Highly-trained officers from the Scottish Police College got a closer look at the vehicles of Motorbase Performance BMW drivers Steven Kane and Rob Collard at Tulliallan ahead of the latest round of the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship at Knockhill this weekend (August 17).

The Touring Car squad visited the Police College to carry out pre-race checks on their BMW 320si race cars after being invited to use the facilities by the Head of Road Policing training, Chief Inspector Michael Cleary.

With both sets of drivers using similar vehicles on a daily basis – although for completely different purposes – the meeting was seen as an ideal way of comparing notes on the cars and driving techniques.

Rob Collard, Chief Inspector Michael Cleary (Head of Road Policing Division, Scottish Police College) and Steven KaneThe Motorbase Performance cars underwent a series of 'shakedown' checks to make sure they were in perfect running order for the weekend's event after their long journey from the team's base in Kent.  Once the cars were put through their paces it was a case of spot-the-difference as the race cars and police vehicles were lined up side-by-side for comparison.

The two sets of high-speed BMWs will be involved in very different roles on race-day this Sunday – with the Motorbase cars challenging for podium places in Touring Car races, while the Police cars ensure the safety of visitors to the event at Knockhill.

Motorbase Performance Team Principal David Bartrum said:
"It was great to meet guys who really know how to drive a BMW properly, they obviously know their stuff.  The police drivers have a very different style to our guys and it was fascinating to get an insight into the skills needed to drive safely at high speeds on public roads.  There are some real villains in Touring Car racing, so we've asked some of the officers here to look out for our cars on the track on Sunday to make sure they don't get into any trouble."

The Scottish Police Service Authority's Michael Cleary, Head of Road Policing training at the Scottish Police College, said:
"We are delighted to welcome these terrific drivers and cars to Tulliallan ahead of what should be a fantastic weekend of motor sport.  But we are no strangers to high performance vehicles and highly-skilled drivers throughout the year at the College.  To deliver modern policing across Scotland, the Scottish police service makes use of some of the very same vehicles which will be in action this weekend.  The emphasis for the police, however, is always on safety.  Racing drivers have a well known saying.  To finish first, first you have to finish.  In policing we have adopted our own.  It is far better to arrive late than not at all.  When the public's safety is on the line, no emergency is so great that it justifies a collision."