Collard Wins Race 3 at Brands

Rob Collard took his second victory of the season in the incident-filled British Touring Car Championship finale at Brands Hatch on Sunday

Collard Wins Race 3 at Brands

Collard moved to the front at the start from his second place slot on the grid, but had looked set for a pretty tough afternoon's work with the series pace-setters all due to fight their way through the field.

However, Collard's task was made easier after Yvan Muller, Dan Eaves and Jason Plato were all eliminated in a spectacular collision at Paddock Hill Bend on the second lap.

Muller had tapped Eaves from behind, spearing the Team Halfords Honda car into the barriers on the inside. Eaves then rebounded onto the track, collecting Muller and Plato as they all ended up in the gravel on the outside of the track.

With the Safety Car called out to allow marshals to retrieve the stricken cars, Collard found himself in front of SEAT duo James Pickford and Gavin Smith when the race resumed, with newly crowned champion Matt Neal in fourth.

Collard set about trying to open up a lead but could not shake off the attention of Pickford, who was equally determined to end his season on a high.

Behind these two, Neal found himself losing time behind Hines as he tried to find a way past.

Neal's opportunity eventually came at the end of lap nine when he got a slightly better run out of the final corner. He failed to get all the way past Hines, though, and in trying to dive down the inside through Paddock Hill he nudged the back of the SEAT - forcing both cars to slow and allowing Vauxhall's Gavin Smith to leapfrog the pair of them.

As Smith edged clear in third, Neal dived down the inside of Hines on the way out of Druids and they collided at the bottom of the hill - handing Neal fourth place.

At the front Pickford was putting Collard under intense pressure and on lap 13 he managed to get around the outside of the MG into Clearways - but he failed to close the door sufficiently and Collard barged his way back to the front.

With Pickford being forced wide across the grass, the way was clear for Collard to take the win, with him eventually finishing almost two seconds clear.

Smith duly took third place, with Team Halfords' Gareth Howell taking fourth after Neal slowed with suspected tyre damage on lap 14, possibly as a result of his earlier collision with Hines.

Neal finished fifth, just ahead of Vauxhall's Colin Turkington.

CLASSIFIED: Pos  Driver Car Time 1. Rob Collard  MG ZS  29:25.626   2. James Pickford  SEAT Toledo Cupra  +  1.914   3. Gavin Smith  Vauxhall Astra Sport Hatch  +  8.508   4. Gareth Howell  Honda Integra  +  9.310   5. Matt Neal  Honda Integra  +  13.136   6. Colin Turkington  Vauxhall Astra Sport Hatch  +  13.360   7. James Kaye  Honda Civic Type-R  +  14.626   8. Jason Hughes  MG ZS  +  28.327   9. Richard Williams  Lexus IS200  +  28.542   10.  Fiona Leggate  Vauxhall Astra Coupe  +  32.763   11.  Andy Neate  Vauxhall Astra Coupe  +  43.228   12.  Ian Curley  Lexus IS200  +  46.858   13.  Mark Proctor  Vauxhall Astra Coupe  +  47.030   NOT CLASSIFIED/RETIREMENTS: Driver Car On Lap Luke Hines  SEAT Toledo Cupra  16  Dan Eaves  Honda Integra  1  Yvan Muller  Vauxhall Astra Sport Hatch  1  Jason Plato  SEAT Toledo Cupra  1  Fastest Lap: Rob Collard, 1:33.148 on lap 7 
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Series BTCC
Drivers Rob Collard
Author Jonathan Noble
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