Ricky Collard will make his Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship debut at Rockingham (11/12 August) as he substitutes for his dad Rob at Team BMW. He will also race at Knockhill (25/26 August).
Rob was involved in high-speed incidents during Races One and Two at Snetterton in July; the second of which meant that his BMW 125i M Sport was unrepairable on-site and also left him with a concussion.
Having been under observation by the TOCA medical team since a previous heavy impact at Silverstone in September 2017, the driver from Eversley, was prevented from taking part in the third race of the day at Snetterton and will now miss the next two events as well.
Rob Collard said: “After suffering a serious concussion in a crash at Silverstone in 2017, I was cleared to return to racing earlier this year while remaining under close monitoring by the TOCA medical team. Following a pair of high-speed, high-impact accidents in Races One and Two at Snetterton, and after reviewing the results of a concussion test with the medics at the track, it was ruled that I was unfit to participate in the special ‘Diamond Double’ race and that I should not race at Rockingham or Knockhill either. I’m absolutely gutted for Team BMW, all my sponsors and supporters and I’d like to thank the TOCA medical team for their professionalism and support, as always.”
Ricky is looking forward to his BTCC debut and tweeted:
“🚨mission BTCC is on! 🚨
Unbelievable opportunity thank you so much BMW! 💫
Let the games begin! 😈”
Ricky’s Rockingham race
Ricky has driven the 125i M Sport in tests and shakedowns and was a winner at Rockingham in the BTCC-supporting Formula 4 British Championship in 2015 and in the BRDC F3 Championship the following season.
As a debutant in the BTCC, he must carry 45kg ‘newcomer’ ballast in his car across the entire Rockingham race weekend.
Ricky said: “I’ve been around the BTCC paddock throughout my childhood and teenage years watching Dad race – mostly with WSR – and I’ve been desperate to compete in the series for a long time, especially for a team with their record of success. While I never wanted my debut to be under circumstances like this, Team BMW are one of the best in the BTCC, have won the championship for the past two seasons and are right in the thick of the title battle again. My target is to do the best job I can and help score as many points as possible for the Teams’ and Manufacturers’ championships.”
BTCC debut results
26th fastest in qualifying, 17th place finish in race one (carrying ballast).
Race two 20th, before a race three technical hitch prevented him from starting.
Ricky said: “Tough learning experience, we had good pace in the races but I couldn’t show it. It’s a completely different style of racing in the BTCC that I’m not used to. The support this weekend has been humbling and I’ll do everything I can to repay everyone at Knockhill!”