Defending champion in Scottish action
The Collard Racing team face a long journey north from their Hampshire base this week in preparation for the visit of the 2004 MSA Green Flag British Touring Car Championship to the Knockhill circuit in Scotland. The tight and twisty track, nestling on a hill above the Firth of Forth near Edinburgh, has been good to reigning BTCC Independents champion Rob Collard in previous years – and Rob is aiming for a strong result this weekend to boost his points score in the competitive series.
“I’m looking forward to Knockhill, it’s a very different circuit,” says Rob, from Eversley in Hampshire. “I’ve always gone well there in races, and took wins when we visited in my Formula Ford and Vectra Challenge days. I’ve not raced there for a few years, but I’m hoping my good form can continue.
“I’ve been quick there in the past – in the Vectra I set the pole time and then parked up in the pits and was doing an interview while everyone else tried to get close to my time. It’s a challenging circuit despite being short, there are lots of elevation changes, and you have to take some chances to be really quick – like jumping the kerbs at the chicane.
“As ever, qualifying is going to be important, and it will be a bit like Brands Hatch – all the times will be really close. The tight and twisty nature of the track means any power deficits to the works’ teams are not so important, but the track rewards good traction out of the hairpins so that will be a factor.
“One thing Knockhill is known for is the weather – and if it is wet there that will play into our hands. We are due a good meeting after the problems we have had at the last two at Mondello Park and Croft, so lets hope it is third time lucky this weekend.”
The Collard Racing Vauxhall Astra has had a troubled two previous meetings with minor technical problems – but when given the chance Rob has shown the racing ability he is renowned for, and left both meetings with the Dunlop award for the Independent driver gaining most places on race day.
Qualifying is at 15.50 on Saturday (August 7th) afternoon, while the three 22-lap races are scheduled for 11.10, 14.25 and 16.25 on Sunday.