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Collard: “Oulton Park is one of my all-time favourite circuits”

Sunday, June 02 2013

Rob Collard heads to Oulton Park next weekend (8/9 June) in a positive mood despite a tough start to his Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season. The eBay Motors racer has been hard at work developing the new BMW 1-Series and has high hopes for success at the Cheshire track.

"We're very optimistic about the car," Rob confirmed. "We know it's a new challenge and (team mate) Colin (Turkington) having a very good result at Donington, winning race three on the reverse grid was a fantastic achievement. We know that the package is good, we just need to be more consistent and try and unlock a little bit more pace from the car in qualifying and just generally through the race weekend."

Rob endured a torrid time at Brands Hatch and he admits it was hard to take: "That was a very tough weekend for me and the team, to have three non-finishes in the first three races when this time last year we came away lying second in the championship is very frustrating. But we've looked at the problems, we've rectified them and the car has run very reliably in the last two rounds, so we know we're on top of the technical issues that we had and it's just unfortunate that it happened.

Colin's win also underlined one of the car's weaknesses, as Rob explains: "Colin's done a very good job and he was very fortunate to get a reverse grid and sit on soft tyres and it all worked very well. We know the car can be very competitive on the softer tyre, we just have to make it work better on the harder tyre, that's really where some of our problems have come and with the extremely hard tyre for Thruxton we had even greater difficulty. That's something that we're working on at the moment, so fingers crossed we'll find some more pace before Oulton Park."

The forthcoming round would be the ideal venue for a Collard revival: "Oulton Park is one of my all-time favourite circuits, I really like it. I love the very challenging aspects to some of the corners like Cascades and Druids, the sort of corners where it's very fast and narrow. We know the BMW is predominantly always strong at Oulton Park, so we're going there with lots of optimism."

Look out too for Rob to be getting into the mix right from the first corner: "One of the strong points of the BMW is its starts and I'm one of the strongest starters on the grid, so hopefully we can make some good starts and maybe a couple of places."

Tickets for Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Oulton Park on 8/9 June are available from £26, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.