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News 2010: Ben Collins Successfully Tests for Airwaves BMW at Snetterton Ahead of Brands Hatch

October 1st

Ben CollinsBen Collins today got back behind the steering wheel in preparation for his first race at Brands Hatch in the UK's most prestigious motoring event, the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.

After a solid dry practice session at Norfolk's Snetterton race circuit Collins was in high spirits. "Today went really well and it felt really good to be sat in the Airwaves BMW racecar. It responds so well and is extremely reactive so as a driver I really felt in tune with the whole package as we dialled in a race set-up. Last year I tested this car at Brands for Autosport and the conditions were appalling so today was a far more realistic representation of what I can expect on the weekend, and I'm pleased with how it turned out," he chirped.

Collins, driving an E90 320si Airwaves BMW, was testing alongside rival, and fellow newcomer, Sam Tordoff from Triple Eight Racing. Team Manager Oliver Collins divulged, "We were very happy with Ben's progress today, though not surprised with the way he handled the test and worked so well with the entire squad. His lap times consistently improved, he developed the car to his driving style and gives great feed back which will no doubt benefit us as a team going into an important weekend."

Airwaves BMWWhen quizzed over the differences between the Australian V8 Supercar Collins drove last year and the current Motorbase Performance prepared BMW he explained, "The biggest difference is power; in V8 racing you have to be a lot more delicate on the throttle while touring cars allow you to get your foot down, but there are definite similarities when it comes to the tyres and grip levels so I'll be taking everything I've learnt over the years with me into these three races."

Collins is also well aware that there is a far more aggressive racing culture here in the BTCC and is prepared for the inevitable knocks and scrapes that will accompany the knife-edge finale at Brands Hatch. With four possible champions in the shape of Plato, Neal, Shedden and Onslow-Cole all eager to clinch the title Collins will relish jumping in at the deep end. If today's test session proved anything it's that he has the skill and pace to mix it with the very best drivers in the UK.

If that weren't enough excitement Collins was this morning confirmed as the latest presenter of Channel 5's Fifth Gear, and as such he'll be going into battle with his future co-star Jason Plato, the current leader of the BTCC Drivers standings. Both drivers will have something to prove to the army of fans and millions watching from around the globe as the season draws to its dramatic climax.

To that end Collins is emphatic. "At Brands Hatch I shall be racing to win and I can't wait. I must thank Addison Lee, Airwaves, The Money Shop, Leyland Paints and of course Motorbase Performance for giving me this chance. I will do all I can to repay their faith."

You can catch Collins in his first ever BTCC race on ITV4 on Sunday the 10th of October between 10.30am - 6pm.  For the first time Saturday's qualifying session will also be available to viewers online between 3pm – 6.15pm on Saturday the 9th of October, just log onto Driver and team details, as well as the season schedule, can be found on

Event Information
Brands Hatch Circuit length: 1.22 miles
Laps: 24
Race distance: 29.28 miles
Address: Brands Hatch Circuit, Fawkham, Longfield, Kent, DA3 8NG
Tel: 01474 872331