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Rob Collard: “Oulton Park is probably my favourite track”

Monday, May 26 2014

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race winner Rob Collard is looking forward to this June's Oulton Park round (7/8 June), after a strong start to his season that has him in sixth place in the title standings.

"I'm absolutely delighted with the way the season has started," Rob said. "Oulton Park is probably my favourite track on the calendar and we've got some very strong circuits coming up for the BMW. The rear wheel drive BMW suits the hairpins and chicanes at Oulton, so we're expecting the car to be very strong."

Up until now Rob has been a match for team mate Colin Turkington on pace: "Thruxton was a very strong weekend for us, and Donington as well, I think I was quicker than Colin and stronger  in the rain. We had a bit of a mishap in race two unfortunately, but when we went to Thruxton, to be quicker than Colin in qualifying and to get the first podium of the day was a fantastic achievement."

However it's Turkington who has taken the wins so far. "Colin's an absolute star driver," Rob admitted. "He's world-class and has managed to put the reverse grids to his advantage. Let's hope that between us we can continue that form, but we have to try and look at maybe our overall pace at the start of the weekend in qualifying where we haven't been quite as strong as the Hondas and the MGs."

Rob's a big fan of Oulton Park and can't wait to get there this June and race on the International layout, a first for him in the BTCC: "I think my first time I went to Oulton Park in a Formula Ford we drove the Shell hairpin and I've never done it since, so it's going to bring back some fond memories of my first visit to Oulton Park. Going through turn one (Old Hall) in into the Avenue and Cascades I think is a fantastic thing and what I like the most about there is that when you do a track walk on the Friday and the Saturday evening you can smell the barbeques and even when you drive out in the car on a Sunday afternoon the smell comes into the car and that's a lovely feeling."

Like the many fans enjoying barbeques in the campsite beside the Avenue, Rob will be looking forward to the Super Touring Trophy support races, which will remind him of when he was trying to make his entry into the BTCC at the turn of the century. "They're very competitive and fast cars," he reminisced. "I was lucky once to test for Triple 8 Vauxhall as a part of the prize for winning the Vectra Championship and those cars are fantastic to drive. It must be a truly wonderful experience to drive a Super Touring Car around Oulton Park. It'll be brilliant and I'd love to have a go at it!"

Tickets for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Oulton Park on 7/8 June are available from £26, with free admission for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.