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News 2008: The Racing Collards

While Rob Collard enjoyed a great season with Motorbase Performance BMW in the 2008 BTCC, his sons were starting to make their names in karting. Speed is surely in the Collard genes, for youngsters Ricky and Jordan are the third generation of racing Collards.

The Collards"My father Duffy is 64 now," explained Rob. "He raced for about 30 years in short ovals and raced all over the world. He was World, European and British champion in hot rods. He won everything there was to win and made a lot of money out of racing. He was a professional racer and raced against people like Derek Warwick and Martin Brundle."

While Duffy also dabbled in other things like rallycross and rallying, his roots were in short oval racing and the young Rob followed in his father's wheeltracks - racing hot rods and winning the European title.

When Rob sat out much of the 2007 racing season, he was able to commit time to his elder son Ricky. "The one thing I did do last year, which put some doubt in my mind about my future racing, was spend a lot of time taking my son Ricky all over Europe for his karting."

Ricky has just turned 12 and Rob's other son Jordan is eight, and he's just got his MSA cadet karting licence, too.

The Collards"It's very tough in some ways being a karting dad, trying to find the budget. Having three people in the family in motorsport brings a lot of financial pressure," said Rob. "But when it all goes well, it is worth every penny. They come from a racing background, like I do. I don't think there are many families around that have three generations racing at this level in British motor sport."

This season, Ricky was racing in the Zip Young Guns cadet team, the team that Lewis Hamilton raced for in his formative years. "He's really turned a corner with his speed and he's winning races in one of the top class championships," said Rob.

However, younger son Jordan is also starting out in karting. "Jordan is a complete and utter lunatic; he reminds me a bit of myself when I was younger," admits Rob. "He has absolutely no fear. In his first ever meeting as a novice he finished eighth in the main final.

"I have no doubt that both of them will be able to make it in the sport and be race winning drivers in whatever they decide to race in the future. I'll never force them to race; they'll do it purely because they want to. If they want to stop at any time, I'll support them in whatever they choose to do."