Rob Collard: BRITISH GT CHAMPION!
Everyone at Collard Racing is celebrating an incredible first season in GT racing for Rob Collard who was crowned British GT Champion at Silverstone (8 November 2020).
He secured the British GT Championship title at his first attempt, after a successful 20 year career in British Touring Cars which saw him win the Independents Championship in 2003 and helped West Surrey Racing / Team BMW to several Teams' Championship titles.
The victory and title success caps off an immensely successful 2020 season for Rob who, alongside teammate Sandy Mitchell, Leo Machitski and son Ricky Collard claimed Pro-Am class victory at the Spa 24 Hours last month. Rob and Sandy's maiden British GT season together has also been a model of consistency, with the pair securing two wins and finishing every race inside the top five. It also marks Lamborghini’s 16th British GT race victory since its arrival in the championship.
They took victory in the season-closing Silverstone 500 race having started the weekend on the right foot by claiming pole position for the three-hour race. Their efforts on Saturday ensured they started ahead of their title rivals Patrick Kujala and Sam de Haan in the Ram Racing Mercedes, as well as the sister Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo of Phil Keen and Adam Balon.
Collard got a strong getaway off the rolling start and led the early stages before a superb strategic call from the team to pit during the first safety car period, allowed the British Touring Car Championship veteran to hand over to Mitchell and retain the overall race lead at the restart. Mitchell maintained the lead out front but gave way to Keen in the #72 Huracán, who was on fresher tyres after a few laps. Keen began to leap away at the front, setting a number of fastest laps ahead of the first round of pit-stops. The key difference between the two Barwell cars was that Mitchell and Collard did not have to serve a success time penalty at their third and final stop. In any case, Balon and Keen were left to rue another missed title opportunity after Balon was spun around at Stowe by de Haan in the closing stages. Mitchell and Collard stayed out of such trouble and duly came home to take the race win as well as delivering not just the overall Drivers’ and Teams’ titles, but also Silver Cup class honours as well. Rob Collard (#78 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo): “I would never have believed it [a year ago], it’s a credit to Sandy, he’s taught me a lot this year. I came into British GT this year thinking I was a good driver, but I really struggled at the start of the season, so I had to learn a lot. They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but it can be done. Sandy has really helped me learn how to get my skills up there in a GT3 car with aero. It’s been absolutely fantastic to race with Barwell this year, a dream come true. 2021 here we come!”