Touring car stars Rob Collard and Nick Foster prepare for home event at Thruxton

Basingstoke Gazette: Rob Collard and Nick Foster in action. Rob Collard and Nick Foster in action.

HOME rule is what north Hampshire drivers Rob Collard and Nick Foster will be looking for when the British Touring Car Championship arrives at Thruxton this weekend.

The ebay Motors BMW drivers will be hoping to build on their success so far this season, which sees Collard currently seventh in the championship, while Foster is 12th.

The Hampshire speed bowl of Thruxton poses an altogether different challenge than the opening two rounds at Brands Hatch and Donington Park.

It is the fastest circuit of the championship, where drivers reach speeds of up to 140mph, and both drivers are looking forward to their home meeting, even though last year it was a nightmare for both of them as they failed to make the top 10.

That was in the first year in their new BMW and this season the ebay Motors team have returned to mixing it at the front of the grid.

Hook’s Collard will be very confident coming into the meeting, having finished fourth in his first outing at Donington Park. He also had a storming drive from the back of the grid in race three to finish seventh last time out.

The driver has won seven BTC races, but has yet to win at his home track. However, he did lead a race a few years ago, before being knocked off at the chicane by Matt Neal.

Collard said: “With all the development we have made on the car, I think it will go really well this time. So I am looking forward to the weekend.”

Odiham’s Foster ended his outing at Donington in good shape as he came in eighth in the final race at the Leicestershire track.

Foster said: “Thruxton is a circuit where you need to have faith in the car and last year we did not have that. So this time around I will be able to put my foot down and drive flat out. So I expect we will do a lot better.”

Collard’s son Ricky Collard will also be action this weekend in one of the BTCC support races, the Formula Ford Championships, and will look to bounce back to winning ways in the scholarship class after a tough weekend at Donington.

The teenager suffered a snapped throttle cable in qualifying, was tapped in race one and then went out while challenging his teammate Chris Mealin in his final outing.

Collard did some testing at Thruxton last month and was quick at the circuit, so it bodes well for his weekend.

Tickets for Thruxton are from just £14 with free entry for children aged 12 and under.

All of Sunday’s races will be shown live on ITV4 from 11am until 6.30pm.

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