Collard Racing Logo

Team JCT600 with GardX targeting podiums at Thruxton

Team JCT600 with GardX targeting podiums at Thruxton

Team JCT600 with GardX’s quest for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship brings them to the UK’s fastest circuit, Thruxton, this weekend (May 7-8) for the third event of the 2016 series.

The WSR-run outfit is riding high in second place in the HIQ Teams’ Championship following a great performance at Donington Park last time out as Hampshire’s Rob Collard took a well-deserved victory and claimed the highest race-day score of any driver this year.

Team JCT600 with GardX secured the Teams’ Trophy as the highest-scoring outfit of the weekend and WSR closed in on the lead of the manufacturers’/constructors’ standings, completing an impressive opening to the 2016 campaign for the Sunbury-on-Thames-based team.

Rob’s Donington success moved him up to fourth place in the drivers’ championship, meaning he carries 48kg of success ballast into qualifying and race one at his local circuit.

Both Rob and team-mate Sam Tordoff finished on the podium last year at Thruxton in their BMW 125i M Sports and are high on confidence after both completed the London Marathon recently; Rob running for the Snowdon Trust and Sam for the Prince’s Trust.

Leeds driver Sam lies sixth in the points and is the only driver of rear-wheel drive machinery to have achieved rostrum finishes in the two BTCC events held so far this year. He carries 33kg of ballast into the weekend.

Due to the unique demands placed on tyres by Thruxton’s succession of high-speed corners, a special one-off construction is produced by Dunlop just for this weekend’s racing. The usual regulations mandating the use of a soft tyre in one race do not apply.

The Thruxton triple-header on May 7-8 is the third of 10 events in this year’s BTCC, which takes in nine circuits the length and breadth of the country. Every race will be screened live and exclusively on ITV4 in HD.

Rob Collard said: “I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend at Donington. To top-score at a circuit that hasn’t traditionally been kind to us shows what a terrific job WSR have done developing the BMW over the winter with the car. Thruxton is my local circuit, so it matters a huge deal to achieve a strong set of results, but there’s a bit more riding on it this time as our championship position is so strong. With 48kg of ballast on board, this is the heaviest my car has been all season coming into a weekend, and that will challenge us as a team. But I was second last year, missing the win by less than half a second, I’m making consistently good starts and am incredibly motivated to keep up the good run of form, so I think we’re in for a strong weekend.”

Sam Tordoff said: “Donington proved just how fast the 2016 version of the Team JCT600 with GardX BMW is as I was able to come from outside the top 20 on the grid to get a podium at the end of the weekend and move up to sixth in the championship. I know the car is capable of something similar at pretty much every circuit too. We have special Dunlop mandatory tyres this weekend, which only get used at Thruxton, and are designed specifically for the demands the high-speed corners put on them. Striking the right balance between performance and reliability with the rubber can be the difference between victory and a puncture, but WSR are one of the most experienced teams in the pitlane and were winning races there over 30 years ago with Ayrton Senna, so I’m sure that together we have all the tools to maximise the performance of the BMW this weekend.”

Dick Bennetts, Team Principal, said: “Team JCT600 with GardX have made a terrific start to the season and we’ve shown that even when things go against us in qualifying, Rob and Sam can get plenty of speed out of the 2016 developed BMWs on race day. Thruxton poses a unique challenge within the BTCC as it’s so high-speed that we even have a specific Dunlop tyre that only gets used there. With Rob and Sam both carrying more success ballast into the weekend than at any other point this year, it will challenge us as a team, but they both have a lot of touring car experience and we have a 100 per cent finishing record so far this season, so I’m sure we can score some more very good points to keep us in the hunt for all three championships.”