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Collard Clinches Motorbase Return

Airwaves BMW

March 2nd 2009

Former independents' champion Rob Collard will race for Motorbase Performance BMW in the 2009 HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship.

The Kent-based team is gearing up to launch its assault on the 2009 series and has re-signed Collard to drive one of its BMWs.  The Hampshireman was at Brands Hatch today (Monday) as part of the famous circuit's season launch and took to the track to perform demonstration laps in the 320si.

Rob CollardCollard enjoyed a fine season with Motorbase in 2008.  After a difficult start for whole squad he played a key role transforming the fortunes of the team in the second half of the season, as Motorbase went on to regularly challenge at the front of the field and scored a string of podium finishes.  Highlights of Collard's season included stepping onto the podium at Knockhill and Brands Hatch, and he finished the season fifth overall in the independent drivers' standings.

Both Collard and Motorbase Performance are confident they can improve on last year's considerable achievements when the new season kicks off at Brands Hatch on April 4.  Having made significant strides in developing the set-up of the 320si, and with a strengthened team of staff in the garage, both parties believe 2009 will be an even more successful campaign.

In addition to Collard's outing in the Motorbase Performance BMW 320si the season launch at Brands Hatch also featured triple World Touring Car champion Andy Priaulx on track in his WTCC-spec BMW, while circuit operator MotorSport Vision unveiled its new partnership with the German marque - which will see selection of brand-new BMW M3s used for the RaceMaster and M3 Master driving experiences at the Kent track.

Motorbase Performance BMW Team Principal David Bartrum said:
"It's great to have Rob Collard in the team again for the season ahead.  He worked really well with the squad last year to help the car progress throughout the season, and it will be good to have him in it again this year with all that experience.  We will look to keep that progress going and have an even more positive season in 2009.  Having finished the last championship on such a high at Brands Hatch we are really looking forward to going there for the first race of the new campaign."

Motorbase Performance Team Driver Rob Collard said:
"To re-sign for Motorbase is a great opportunity for me.  You see when other teams retain the same car and same driver they get a lot of benefit in terms of consistency, so we hope to replicate that.  The BMW will be very strong this year and the team has been busy during the close season recruiting new staff and sponsors, so we will have a great package when we line up on the grid for the first race of 2009.  I think it's going to be a very good season for us."