Knockhill BTCC: Rob Collard battles to win for WSR BMW

Rob Collard battled through to win the opening British Touring Car Championship race at Knockhill

Knockhill BTCC: Rob Collard battles to win for WSR BMW

It was another WSR BMW 125i M Sport that led into Duffus Dip for the first time as Andy Priaulx held onto his pole advantage, while the third BMW of Sam Tordoff fluffed its lines from second on the grid and fell to third behind Mat Jackson.

The Motorbase Ford Focus man needed little time to get to the front, passing Priaulx into the hairpin at the end of the first lap and then edged out a near-three-second lead after half a dozen laps.

As he made good his escape Collard, who surprisingly had made no progress from fourth on the grid at the start but nipped ahead of Tordoff later on in the opening lap, was harrying Priaulx for second.

A brief safety-car period bunched the leaders up but when it ended a lap later, Jackson pushed his lead back up above a second - though the rear-wheel drive BMWs came back at him once their soft tyres were back up to temperature.

Jackson defended gamely, keeping Priaulx at bay without too much difficulty, but the pressure turned into contact when Priaulx tried to get around the outside of the Ford exiting the hairpin at three-quarters' distance.

Priaulx went onto the grass briefly, allowing Collard into second - and a lap later he cut underneath Jackson exiting the same corner and took the lead into Duffus Dip.

He retained his advantage to the flag, finishing 1.7s clear of Jackson who expertly fought off Priaulx to mark Motorbase's second meeting of the season with a fine second - and claimed pole for race two with the race's fastest lap.

Behind the podium trio Tordoff recovered to fourth, flying in the final stages after losing ground early on while those on soft tyres swarmed all over his medium-shod BMW.

He passed the Honda of Matt Neal, Rob Austin's Audi and Gordon Shedden in the second Honda in quick succession to vault from seventh to fourth in the space of two laps, and pulled well clear of that battle by the race's end.

Home hero Shedden eventually triumphed in the fight for fifth, keeping a charging Austin at bay throughout.

By backing up Austin, Shedden helped team-mate Neal jump the Audi A4 for sixth on the final lap.

Andrew Jordan's MG, Adam Morgan's Ciceley Mercedes and the lead Team BMR Volkswagen CC of Colin Turkington completed the top 10.

Jason Plato opted to start the race from the back of the grid, having backed off on the formation lap.

He cruised round on the opening lap, and again immediately after the safety car, and ultimately set the ninth-best time to give him some hope of points in races two and three.

RESULTS - 25 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Rob Collard WSR BMW 22m43.347s
2 Mat Jackson Motorbase Ford 1.720s
3 Andy Priaulx WSR BMW 1.891s
4 Sam Tordoff WSR BMW 2.734s
5 Gordon Shedden Honda Honda 7.820s
6 Matt Neal Honda Honda 7.925s
7 Rob Austin Rob Austin Racing Audi 8.060s
8 Andrew Jordan MG MG 11.128s
9 Adam Morgan Ciceley Racing Mercedes 11.762s
10 Colin Turkington Team BMR Volkswagen 15.593s
11 Jack Goff MG MG 15.772s
12 Jeff Smith Eurotech Honda 17.354s
13 Warren Scott Team BMR Volkswagen 22.315s
14 Martin Depper Eurotech Honda 27.282s
15 Mike Bushell AmD Ford 31.678s
16 Josh Cook Power Maxed Chevrolet 31.686s
17 James Cole Motorbase Ford 32.381s
18 Dave Newsham Power Maxed Chevrolet 37.459s
19 Robb Holland Handy Motorsport Toyota 43.378s
20 Alex Martin Team Parker Ford 47.716s
21 Daniel Welch Welch Motorsport Proton 48.120s
22 Aiden Moffat Aiden Moffat Racing Mercedes 49.683s
23 Jason Plato Team BMR Volkswagen 1 Lap
24 Stewart Lines Houseman Racing Toyota 1 Lap
25 Aron Taylor-Smith Team BMR Volkswagen 3 Laps
- Tom Ingram Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Retirement
- Kieran Gallagher Team Hard Toyota Retirement
- Derek Palmer Jr. Infiniti Infiniti Retirement
- Hunter Abbott Rob Austin Racing Audi Not started

RACE TWO STARTING GRID:

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 Mat Jackson Motorbase Ford 52.424s -
2 Gordon Shedden Honda Honda 52.429s 0.005s
3 Rob Austin Rob Austin Racing Audi 52.482s 0.058s
4 Rob Collard WSR BMW 52.530s 0.106s
5 Andrew Jordan MG MG 52.549s 0.125s
6 Sam Tordoff WSR BMW 52.565s 0.141s
7 Colin Turkington Team BMR Volkswagen 52.674s 0.250s
8 Jason Plato Team BMR Volkswagen 52.675s 0.251s
9 Andy Priaulx WSR BMW 52.677s 0.253s
10 Matt Neal Honda Honda 52.740s 0.316s
11 Jeff Smith Eurotech Honda 52.812s 0.388s
12 Aiden Moffat Aiden Moffat Racing Mercedes 52.834s 0.410s
13 Dave Newsham Power Maxed Chevrolet 52.890s 0.466s
14 Adam Morgan Ciceley Racing Mercedes 52.999s 0.575s
15 Martin Depper Eurotech Honda 53.035s 0.611s
16 James Cole Motorbase Ford 53.063s 0.639s
17 Aron Taylor-Smith Team BMR Volkswagen 53.172s 0.748s
18 Josh Cook Power Maxed Chevrolet 53.279s 0.855s
19 Warren Scott Team BMR Volkswagen 53.545s 1.121s
20 Mike Bushell AmD Ford 53.621s 1.197s
21 Stewart Lines Houseman Racing Toyota 53.842s 1.418s
22 Daniel Welch Welch Motorsport Proton 53.892s 1.468s
23 Robb Holland Handy Motorsport Toyota 53.919s 1.495s
24 Alex Martin Team Parker Ford 54.258s 1.834s
25 Tom Ingram Speedworks Motorsport Toyota 52.569s 0.145s
26 Kieran Gallagher Team Hard Toyota 54.355s 1.931s
27 Derek Palmer Jr. Infiniti Infiniti 53.707s 1.283s
28 Jack Goff MG MG 53.043s 0.619s

Set by race one fastest laps

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