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BTCC Snetterton 2016

Team JCT600 with GardX maintained the lead of the 2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship with a hard-fought podium finish for Rob Collard at Snetterton, Norfolk.

The Hampshire driver’s fourth rostrum finish of the year moved him into the lead of the drivers’ championship while team-mate Sam Tordoff’s double helping of points ensured Team JCT600 with GardX remain first in the Teams’ Championship.

Rob took just a lap and a half to take the lead of the final race of the day, having made one of his trademark rocket starts from fifth on the grid. He led until midway through the final lap, when his BMW 125i M Sport was passed by a forceful Gordon Shedden carrying only 9kg of success ballast to Rob’s 48kg.

He had earlier carved through superbly from 16th to fourth in Race Two, maximising the performance of the soft-compound Dunlop tyres that all drivers must use once on race day and setting a new lap record in the process. He had earlier finished 16th in the opener from 18th on the grid.
 
Four points finishes out of a possible six allowed WSR – who run the Team JCT600 with GardX BMWs from their Sunbury-on-Thames base – to retain their position at the top of the BTCC’s manufacturer/constructor points with four rounds of the 2016 series to go.
 
Rob Collard said: “If you’d told me after qualifying 18th that I’d be leading the championship at the end of today, I wouldn’t have believed you. But the BMW has been fast and consistent all day and as soon as the 66kg of ballast came out at the end of Race One, I was able to make a lot of progress and come all the way from 16th to fourth in Race Two. It’s a bit unfortunate not to win Race Three having led it for so long, but Gordon Shedden put a move on me that I wasn’t expecting and I just couldn’t defend it. Still, second place with 48kg on board is a good result and I’ve taken back the points lead.”
 
Dick Bennetts, Team Principal, said: “I’m very pleased that we leave Snetterton – a circuit that we’ve never had much success at – with Rob and Sam first and second in the drivers’ championship, Team JCT600 with GardX at the top of the teams’ standings and WSR leading the manufacturers’/constructors’ title race. Rob produced the kind of drive in Race Two that only he seems to be capable of and was a little unfortunate not to win Race Three. I feel sorry for Sam because he didn’t do anything wrong today and he’s unfortunately had an issue in a race he could well have won. He’ll bounce back strongly at Knockhill, I’m sure.”

The seventh of the 10-event BTCC takes place at Knockhill near Edinburgh on 13-14 August.