A DOUBLE podium for Rob Collard keeps the Hook driver very much in the mix of the British Touring Car Championship drivers’ championship, after it returned after its summer break.

The Hook racer’s Sunday afternoon just got better and better at Snetterton, as he finished nineth in his first start and then followed this up with a third and then a second.

Collard having started the day 11 points behind reigning champion Gordon Snedden, he sliced the Scotsman's advantage down to four points as he finished the day in third spot. He is also just two points behind his team mate Colin Turkington.

Collard managed to pilot his West Surrey Racing’s BMW 125i M Sport to tenth on the grid for race one and with nearly maximum ballast he only managed to move up just one place by the end of the first race.

In his second outing with a much lighter car, the Hook driver made his trademark super starts and by the end of the first lap, was in fourth place.

By lap 11, Collard was up to second after passing Andrew Jordan and Jack Goff, but then a lap later team mate Turkington over took him, so he had to settle for third.

For the reverse grid for the final race at the Norfolk track, the Hook man was placed sixth.

Once again he made a superb start and moved him up to third after lap one.

He then passed Snedden, but it was under yellow flags, so he had to give back the place.

With two laps to go leader of the race Jordan suffered electronic problems and this promoted Collard to second, with Turkington in third this time The Snetterton results continue the Hampshire driver's great start to the season. which has seen him finish in points in every race as well as picking up at least one podium at every meeting.

Collard said: “I’m very pleased with the weekend. I’ve more than halved the gap to the lead of the championship and I’m now only four points behind, which is nothing really.

“My strategy was to take whatever points I could with the weight on the car in race one and then put the hammer down in race two.

"The BMW was just superb today, I’ve been able to put it exactly where I wanted and I’ve come away with a second and a third, which maintains my record of a podium at every round and puts me in a very strong position for Knockhill.”

Collard’s son Jordan Collard was also in action at Snetterton in the Ginetta Junior Championship.

He finished the final race minus his bonnet, after a first lap coming together with Harry Dyson. This saw the young driver forced to head to the pits with his race over.

In race one, Collard came 14th after starting seventh on the grid and in his second outing he finished eighth after starting sixth.

Both drivers are next in action when the British Touring Car Championship move north of the border, for its annual trip Knockhill, Scotland, on the weekend of August 12 and 13.