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BTCC's Rob Collard can't wait to get started at Brands Hatch

Friday, March 24 2017

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship title contender Rob Collard is pumped up for the new season, which gets underway at Brands Hatch next weekend (1/2 April).

Having ended last year with a shot at the title, Rob's confident that his BMW squad has taken a step forward in performance after a winter testing, for which he was joined by new team-mates Colin Turkington and Andrew Jordan.

"Testing's been very good for us as a team, and I'm at Brands Hatch on Monday giving the new engine a shakedown," Rob said. "There's lots of good signs from the development that we've done over the winter, it all seems to be coming together very well, so the 2017 season is looking very promising."

Rob's first test of the year will be in qualifying next Saturday; last year he often started from lowly grid positions, relying on his appetite for overtaking in the races to get results. He's been working hard to ensure that he won't be caught out on the crowded Brands Hatch Indy circuit. "I believe my qualifying will be better for this year," he said. "We've looked at data from over the winter and just from what we've done on Media Day [official test] I was the quickest of the three BMWs.

"When you look at how close the racing is at Brands Hatch always, qualifying is going to be absolutely crucial on Saturday for sure, especially on the Indy circuit."

Rob's taken three of his 13 wins at Brands Hatch, and two of these have been on the Indy circuit on the season-opening weekend, so he's confident of a good performance to get his 2017 campaign underway.

"I've had the lap record there for many years on the Indy circuit and the GP circuit from the S2000 era, and I think it's been beaten now with the turbo cars, however I've always been good at Brands Hatch, won a lot of races there," Rob said. "Two years I've won the first race of the season when everything's been equal and with no ballast, I've been able to come out and win the first race.

"I can't wait to get back in the car, and very much looking forward to getting a run out on Monday, I think that's going to be a crucial test for us. I cannot wait for Saturday and the Sunday races, that's really when I come alive."

Tickets for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch on 1/2 April are available from £27, with free entry for under-13s. For more information or to book, call 0843 453 9000 or click here.