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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)

Turkington and Collard top Independents Trophy for Team RAC


Before the 2006 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car season started there was much speculation that this was going to be an action-packed season. The first rounds at Brands Hatch didn't disappoint the bumper crowd and Team RAC supporters as they surrounded the natural amphitheatre.

Race 1
The inaugural race for Team RAC saw both Colin Turkington and Rob Collard bring the MG ZS' home in the top ten with only an aggressive move by Matt Neal (Team Halfords) on Colin during the penultimate lap denying the Irishman his first podium finish of the season. Part-time works SEAT driver James Thompson took the first win of the day. Feeling disappointed at losing his podium place Colin said: "I knew after qualifying that I was on for a podium finish. I'm not sure whether Matt locked up going in into Clearways. It was a hefty impact, as I couldn't actually get out of the car when I got back to the garage. We've certainly got the pace and its looking good for the second race." Colin also secured the fastest Independents' lap with a time of 49.201s averaging 89mph.

Rob Collard battled in midfield unable to find the ultimate set-up to give the best performance from his car. Having qualified ninth for the race he improved his position for race two of the day taking the chequered flag to finish 7th.

Race 2
18kgs of success ballast didn't hamper Colin Turkington's MG ZS as he made a good start passing both Chilton (Tom) and Neal (Matt) taking up second place behind SEAT's James Thompson. Some great defensive driving by Colin ensured that he secured an Independents' win and second place finish overall. On securing his first podium finish of the season Colin said: "After the first race I'm really please to have got second place." With the new reversed grid rule coming into play, whereby the winner of race two draws a random number between six and ten, Colin starts race three from sixth on the grid. He commented: "You know you can win races from tenth on the grid so I'm just going to go for it."

With the handling of Rob Collard's MG ZS' improving, he again drove a solid race securing a 6th place finish. Taking advantage of the reversed grid, promoting him to a second place start for the final race of the day, Rob certainly felt like he was making progress. He said: "I've struggled a little bit all weekend but we've been making some set-up changes between races which now appear to be working. I'm still experiencing an imbalance but we're hopeful of solving this for the next race."

James Thompson (SEAT) took the win with Matt Neal (Team Halfords) taking the last step of the podium.

Race 3
The podium turned a distinct shade of orange as Rob Collard and Colin Turkington took second and third place respectively in the final BTCC race of the day. Rob battled to secure his place before contact with Matt Neal resulted in the race being red flagged on lap 20.

On securing second place Rob said: "It's a fantastic result for the team and reward for all the hard work that has gone on behind the scenes. It took a while to get the car working to my liking but it came good in the final race and has given me more confidence. The incident with Matt (Neal) was very unfortunate. He made a very aggressive move on me heading into Clearways and I know it may look like retaliation but that's not the case. I followed him into Paddock and he just braked too early and unfortunately I made contact. It completely caught me by surprise."

Colin Turkington is riding high currently placed second in the Drivers Championship and leading the Independents Trophy. Stepping onto the podium twice in one day, he commented: "It's fantastic to be on the podium again. My car is running faultlessly and it just feels better and better each time. I can't wait for Mondello."

Keeping his promise that there was more to come from the MG ZS, team principal Dick Bennetts said: "I'm very pleased for everyone. The guys at WSR have worked incredibly hard on the cars and have done a great job. It's a very good way for Team RAC to open their account. Rob and Colin have done a great job."

With great trackside support from RAC, Simon Machell, chief executive, NUI (Norwich Union Insurance) was first to congratulate the team. On his maiden BTCC event he said: "This outstanding team performance shows it really is all about 'the people behind people behind the wheel'. RAC has seen a great start to the season, all congratulations to Colin and Rob."

The next BTCC meeting takes place at Mondello Park, 22/23 April.

Jason Hughes in the Kartworld Racing MG ZS finished:
Race 1 - 9th
Race 2 - 11th
Race 3 - 9th

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Mondello Park - Ireland

More trophies for the MGs, well Colin Turkington's anyway:

Colin Turkington - MG ZS (Currently holds 2nd place in Drivers Chapionship)
Race 1 : 4th
Race 2 : 3rd
Race 3 : 2nd

Rob Collard - MG ZS
Race 1 : DNF - Engine problem
Race 2 : DNF - Electrical problem
Race 3 : DNF - Broke the car driving over another!

Jason Hughes - MG ZS V6
Race 1 : 11
Race 2 : DNS
Race 3 : DNF


Team RAC's Turkington keeps the pressure on Championship title


Warm Irish weather and matching hospitality greeted Team RAC at the second round of the 2006 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship. It was a weekend of mixed fortunes on the track as Colin Turkington (Portadown) left Mondello as Independents Trophy leader and second in the Drivers Championship whilst Rob Collard suffered early retirements and an engine failure.

Race 1

Despite 36kgs of success ballast, carried over from the last meeting at Bands Hatch, Colin Turkington still gave a strong performance in the Team RAC MG ZS. Colin closed down and hassled James Thompson (SEAT) all the way to the chequered flag securing a fourth place finish. After the race, Colin said: "The car is running really well and I felt I had the legs on James (Thompson), but it's just so difficult to pass here. I'm pleased with the result and it will be good to get some of the ballast weight off"
Team RAC driver Rob Collard was running well until he was forced to retire from the race when his engine failed after six laps, the first engine failure since Oulton Park 2005. Rob explains: "I was in the middle of a Vauxhall sandwich and Gavin (Smith) was defending very hard. Gradually his lines were becoming untidy and I was just waiting for the right moment to make my move and suddenly there was no power." Team RAC were forced to change the engine in time for race two where Rob started from the back of the grid.

Team Halfords Matt Neal secured the win, with SEAT's Jason Plato and James Thompson completing the top three.

Race 2

The second race of the day was full of action with the safety car deployed on two occasions. Now running an 18kgs lighter Colin Turkington claimed the third place silverware for the second race of the afternoon. Delighted with stepping onto the podium in front of a home crowd Colin said: "It's another step forward and the car has improved again. It's really nice to be on the podium as I've got quite a few supporters here today. The reverse grid now means I'm lining up sixth so I've got it all to do."

Team RAC mechanics did a sterling job in changing the engine for Rob Collard to line-up on the grid for the second race. Rob gave an outstanding performance to cut his way through the pack taking him up to fourth, but three from the end of the race Rob suffered an electrical gremlin, which meant he lost power momentarily. The problem rectified itself but it was too late to make any impression on the finishing results. Rob said: "The car was running really well and the safety car actually played in my favour. I was into fourth when the car backfired and I lost power and lap time. It's just really unfortunately as I was determined to collect some points from this race."

Race 3

Colin Turkington picked up his second podium in the final race of the day, finishing second only to Mike Jordan (Team Eurotech Racing). After making his way from sixth on the grid though the field there just wasn't enough laps remaining for Colin to close the gap on the eventual race winner. Pleased with his second podium of the day, he said: "Two podiums and a nice collection of points, I can't really complain. Mike (Jordan) drove fantastically well and even when I was starting to reel him in, he still didn't put a foot wrong. The car has run really well all weekend and I'm hoping to carry the momentum onto Oulton Park."

Having secured the fastest lap of the race (1:46.535s), Rob Collard was then forced into retirement when an ambitious move on Vauxhall's Giovanardi ended his race prematurely. With damage to the steering, Rob had no option but to bring the car home early. Stepping out of the car Rob said: "What a weekend. Before I came to Mondello I said that it wasn't my favourite circuit and I think I've been jinxed. I'm really disappointed not to have collected more points but I'll put this weekend behind me and focus on Oulton Park."

After experiencing mixed fortunes at Mondello Park, team principal Dick Bennetts: "I'm pleased for Colin and his two podium places but it's a shame that Rob has experienced such bad luck. The MG is clearly much quicker than some of the cars out there and Rob proved that with a fastest lap in the last race." Looking ahead to the next meeting at Oulton Park, he added: "Rob and Colin have both achieved previous success at Oulton Park but Colin will once again be qualifying and racing with 36kgs of success ballast."

RAC and Hibernian Rescue guests enjoyed their day with the team. Abu Shafi, RAC director of corporate sales said: "RAC is truly back in Motorsport. They have proved themselves to be an impressive team again today with more podium finishes. You've just got to attend a race to appreciate how people get behind Team RAC."

The next BTCC meeting takes place at Oulton Park, 13/14 May.

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I think its partly the photographs using a long lens, partly the low ride height and partly the cut outs for the brake/tyre cooling on the race car. I don't notice this as much on my car which is the same model:

Although looking at some other MGs, they do all curve down a bit towards the front.

Some Photos I took on Sunday, all visible cars and the van are MGs:
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