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 
shares
comments
Neal Champion, Plato Wins Race 2
Previous article

Neal Champion, Plato Wins Race 2

Next article

Boss Hails BTCC Popularity

Boss Hails BTCC Popularity
How the BTCC's new hybrid era aced its first test Plus

How the BTCC's new hybrid era aced its first test

Expectations were high for the start of the British Touring Car Championship’s hybrid power era, and despite nerves and problems to solve prior to its debut the new rules gained widespread approval. Here’s how the first test at Donington Park was passed and the thorough examinations that are to follow

BTCC
Apr 28, 2022
The Ford BTCC superteam combining two reigning TOCA champions Plus

The Ford BTCC superteam combining two reigning TOCA champions

Reigning BTCC champion Ash Sutton and Porsche Carrera Cup GB victor Dan Cammish form a potent line-up at the Motorbase-run NAPA Racing team as the series adopts hybrid power. With Sutton bringing the key components of his title-winning Laser Tools Racing set-up, and Cammish eager to prove a point on his return, their dynamic is set to be one of the season's major talking points

BTCC
Apr 21, 2022
The stalwart tin-top boss still shaping careers more than 40 years on Plus

The stalwart tin-top boss still shaping careers more than 40 years on

Veteran team manager Marvin Humphries and former Tech-Speed team boss has worked not only with stars of the British Touring Car Championship, but legends including Gil de Ferran, Hans Stuck and Tom Sneva in a long and varied career that has spanned five decades across tin-tops, single-seaters and sportscars

BTCC
Feb 4, 2022
The grassroots rise that shaped an understated BTCC star Plus

The grassroots rise that shaped an understated BTCC star

Having started out in club-level competitions alongside his own university engineering studies, Josh Cook's journey to becoming an established frontrunner in the British Touring Car Championship is atypical. But it's these experiences that have moulded the 30-year-old into a humble star, respected throughout the paddock

BTCC
Jan 12, 2022
Ranking the top 10 BTCC drivers of 2021 Plus

Ranking the top 10 BTCC drivers of 2021

A refresh in equipment and some returning faces helped contribute to a supremely competitive 2021 British Touring Car Championship campaign. Ash Sutton was crowned a three-time champion, successfully defending his 2020 title, but faced stiff competition in the final year before the switch to hybrid. Autosport picks out the best performers

BTCC
Nov 17, 2021
Why the BTCC's ballast increase couldn't stop champion Sutton Plus

Why the BTCC's ballast increase couldn't stop champion Sutton

Ballast will be gone from the BTCC next year as hybrid power enters the scene, but for its final season the maximum was increased from 60kg to 75kg. Despite having to carry that nearly all season, Ash Sutton was always the favourite to pocket a third title - the 27-year-old getting his reward for a season of speed tempered by savvy to nail his opportunities

BTCC
Nov 12, 2021
The much-loved tin-top superstar bowing out at 59 Plus

The much-loved tin-top superstar bowing out at 59

OPINION: It's not often that a driver achieves widespread affection for their personality, as well as their on-track performances. One such individual is Gabriele Tarquini, who will soon bring the curtain down on a remarkable career that has yielded touring car titles on the European and global stage - and, famously, in Britain too

BTCC
Nov 11, 2021
The making of the BTCC's newest superstar Plus

The making of the BTCC's newest superstar

Ash Sutton is on the verge of being crowned a three-time British Touring Car Champion; he seems to have it all. But life hasn't always been straightforward for this superstar of touring cars, as Marcus Simmons has been finding out

BTCC
Oct 21, 2021