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2014 Racing Calendar

Rob collard

Airwaves BMW

March 26th 2009

This is a massively important season for Rob Collard, who rejoins Motorbase Performance to race one of the Airwaves BMWs in the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship.

Rob CollardAfter spending the 2007 season in the racing wilderness, Collard signed for Motorbase for 2008 and as the year developed the results got better and better. Collard came on strong as the car got quicker and was a podium finisher over the second half of the season. Now, Rob is fiercely determined to carry that pace into the 2009 season and has already shown superbly well by posting third fastest time in the all-important BTCC test at Brands on 24 March.

"This time last year we were really struggling," admits Rob. "We battled and battled for three or four rounds, not getting the results we wanted. Then about half way through the year we found the set-up and really improved the car. Over the last couple of weekends we were super strong and we want to carry that pace into the new season. I'm very confident that we can keep the form we had at the end of last year. We're in a lot better position than we were this time last year. We're looking really good at the moment."

Getting back into the racing seat of the BMW was a good feeling for Rob after confirming his deal to stay with Motorbase. "When I first drove my car again in late February, it was like putting on an old suit that I hadn't worn for six months. It fitted perfectly and it went really well. Continuity with the car is a big bonus," he says. "We've tested at Brands and we were faster there than when we finished there last year, and that was fast. It's looking very good. We're planning to hit the ground running. Brands should be good for the team."

Rob CollardCollard is keen to work closely with his new team mate Jonny Adam, just as he did with Steven Kane through 2008. "As a team we have to work hard and work together. It's something that Steven and I did last year and I hope I can do the same with Jonny," said Collard. "I think the Airwaves BMW will be very strong and if we work together as a team, we can be there or thereabouts and have a good few podiums along the way."

Now comes the opening race weekend of the season at Brands Hatch and the action will be frenetic on the Indy circuit. "Brands is a lovely circuit and I really enjoy it. It flows very well and that suits the BMWs. There is always a lot of support there and it gives you a really good buzz. It's like racing in a stadium."

However, when pressed to name his all-time favourite circuit, Rob picks the beautiful Cheshire track of Oulton Park. "I have to say that Oulton Park is my favourite track. I just seem to have very good races there. Last year we had an engine failure in race three, which put the weekend back. But that was probably one of my most enjoyable weekends. Knockhill was very good and so was Brands at the end of the year. But Oulton is still my favourite circuit."

Rob isn't the only Collard racing this season, however, as his sons Ricky and Jordan are now keen karters and elder son Ricky has already set the bar high for the family in 2009.

"Ricky is doing really well in his karting and won a couple of weeks ago, so he has set the standard in the Collard family. I've got to try and live up to his excellent results. It would be nice to say we're going for the BTCC title, but that's quite a challenge. The Independents' class is there for us to grab. I won it before in 2003!"