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Monday, April 12, 2021

Collard unlikely to defend British GT title, joins RAM in GTWCE

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The veteran former British Touring Automobile Championship racer switched to GT3 racing final yr and mixed with Sandy Mitchell to assert the title in a Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan, beating RAM rivals Sam De Haan and Patrick Kujala.

Nonetheless, a rule change from British GT organiser SRO following the domination of Silver-graded driver pairings in 2020 means solely Professional-Am or Silver-Am pairings are allowed for this season, leaving 52-year-old Collard – an FIA Bronze resulting from his age, working as a derogated Silver resulting from his years of racing expertise – within the awkward place of needing to companion one other Bronze to proceed.

Autosport understands that along with his aggressive prospects decreased, Collard is due to this fact unlikely to return to British GT and has prioritised a return to Europe. Autosport has approached him for remark.

Collard additionally contested the total GTWCE final season, ending third within the Professional-Am standings with a category victory within the Spa 24 Hours, and can now return to the European scene in a RAM Mercedes-AMG GT3 alongside De Haan and fellow British GT race winner Callum Macleod.

His son Ricky Collard, a winner within the Blancpain GT World Problem Europe with R-Motorsport on the Nurburgring, will be part of the total season trio for the Spa 24 Hours.

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Collard Sr has examined with RAM a number of instances over current months, together with at Silverstone on Wednesday, and defined in a crew assertion that he discovered it “barely simpler” to drive than the Huracan he raced in 2020.

RAM Racing GTWCE 2021

“I’m delighted to be becoming a member of RAM Racing for this season, and I’m massively excited to be a part of what seems like a extremely sturdy crew,” he mentioned.

“I’ve gotten to know RAM properly, particularly by way of racing in opposition to them final yr in British GT, so I do know what a category act they’re.

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“I had my first take a look at at Snetterton and liked the Mercedes-AMG from the primary second I sat in it. It’s such a stunning automotive to drive – it’s barely simpler than the Lamborghini was, and I feel it fits my fashion properly.

“I’m already actually happy with the tempo I’ve proven in testing and that ought to solely enhance as I study extra in regards to the automotive.

“It will likely be nice sharing with Sam this yr, too. He was so powerful to beat in British GT final season, and along with Callum I feel we might be proper up there within the Professional-Am order.

“It should even be particular to share a automotive with Ricky once more at Spa. We gained the Professional-Am class there final yr, and we’ll be aiming to take action once more this time round.”

RAM boss Dan Shufflebottom added that the crew was “one of many strongest driver line-ups we’ve ever had”.

“Clearly, all people within the crew already is aware of each Callum and Sam properly – they’re each extremely fast and dependable racers – and getting Rob’s signature alongside them is the icing on the cake,” he mentioned.

“Collectively they need to make a extremely formidable Professional-am entry, and we’ll be aiming excessive proper from the beginning of the yr.”

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