Collard closes title gap
Double one-two for eBay Motors BMW
Last Updated: 26/08/12 8:52pm
Robert Collard: Double success on home soil
Robert Collard breathed new life into his British Touring Car Championship title challenge with a double win at Knockhill on Sunday.
The eBay Motors BMW driver led home a one-two for his team in the opening race of the day from Tom Onslow-Cole, and the duo repeated that result in race two.
Speaking after his second victory of the day, Collard said: "Another one-two for the team. It just shows how well sorted we've got the BMW here.
"What a result - what a day. I am delighted."
Collard won the opening race of the season at Brands Hatch in April but since then has struggled to replicate that form with just two further podiums to his credit.
However, Sunday's double win vaults him up the drivers' standings, and he now trails Honda's Matt Neal by 59 points with nine races remaining over the final three rounds.
Neal pulled 10 points clear of team-mate Gordon Shedden at the summit after finishing seventh, eighth and third in Sunday's races.
Shedden, meanwhile, took third place in both race one and two before retiring with a damaged car in the final outing of the day.
The day's final, reverse-grid race was won by home favourite Dave Newsham.
Newsham, from Inverness, led from start to finish at the wheel of his Team ES Racing.com Vauxhall to pick up his second BTCC win in as many events. He led home Pirtek Racing's Jeff Smith, with Neal completing the podium.
"I'm staggered to end the day on the podium," said Neal, who had struggled for pace in the day's opening two races.
"It's been a horrid weekend for me but I've got here in the end I suppose and the points are always important."
It was a miserable weekend for KX Momentum Racing's Jason Plato, who lost ground on his championship rivals after crashing out of the first race, finishing 11th in race two and failing to start the day's final race with turbo problems.
The two-time BTCC champion now trails Neal by 36 points heading to the next round at Rockingham on September 23.
Race one result: 1 Rob Collard (Gbr) BMW 28mins 53.088secs, 2 Tom Onslow-Cole (Gbr) BMW 28:54.388, 3 Gordon Shedden (Gbr) Honda 29:09.813, 4 Aron Smith (Irl) Ford 29:09.824, 5 Mat Jackson (Gbr) Ford 29:09.997, 6 Paul O'Neill (Gbr) Chevrolet 29:11.105, 7 Matt Neal (Gbr) Honda 29:11.595, 8 Nick Foster (Gbr) BMW 29:11.690, 9 Andrew Jordan (Gbr) Honda 29:12.227, 10 Adam Morgan (Gbr) Toyota 29:14.677
Race two result: 1 Rob Collard (Gbr) BMW 25mins 47.177secs, 2 Tom Onslow-Cole (Gbr) BMW 25:50.416, 3 Gordon Shedden (Gbr) Honda 25:58.304, 4 Paul O'Neill (Gbr) Chevrolet 26:03.048, 5 Nick Foster (Gbr) BMW 26:04.722, 6 Aron Smith (Irl) Ford 26:08.960, 7 Andrew Jordan (Gbr) Honda 26:09.180, 8 Matt Neal (Gbr) Honda 26:11.952, 9 Jeff Smith (Gbr) Honda 26:14.249, 10 Dave Newsham (Gbr) Vauxhall 26:27.549.
Race three result: 1 Dave Newsham (Gbr) Vauxhall 21mins 44.595secs, 2 Jeff Smith (Gbr) Honda 21:46.144, 3 Matt Neal (Gbr) Honda 21:46.612, 4 Andrew Jordan (Gbr) Honda 21:46.657, 5 Tom Onslow-Cole (Gbr) BMW 21:49.115, 6 Paul O'Neill (Gbr) Chevrolet 21:53.686, 7 Nick Foster (Gbr) BMW 21:53.834, 8 Aron Smith (Irl) Ford 21:56.183, 9 Rob Collard (Gbr) BMW 21:56.423, 10 Mat Jackson (Gbr) Ford 21:57.402
Drivers' Championship standings: 1 Matt Neal (Gbr) Honda 287.0pts, 2 Gordon Shedden (Gbr) Honda 277.0, 3 Jason Plato (Gbr) MG 251.0, 4 Andrew Jordan (Gbr) Honda 247.0, 5 Rob Collard (Gbr) BMW 228.0, 6 Tom Onslow-Cole (Gbr) BMW 209.0, 7 Mat Jackson (Gbr) Ford 187.0, 8 Dave Newsham (Gbr) Vauxhall 146.0, 9 Jeff Smith (Gbr) Honda 121.0, 10 Frank Wrathall (Gbr) Toyota 118.0
Manufacturers' Championship standings: 1 Honda 661.0pts, 2 MG 503.0