COL­LARD JR GETS BMW TIN-TOP SEAT

Motor Sport News - - Headline News - By Rob Lad­brook

BRDC Bri­tish For­mula 3 points leader Ricky Col­lard will gain tin-top ex­pe­ri­ence in Ger­many this year af­ter be­ing an­nounced as one of the new in­ductees of the BMW Mo­tor­sport Ju­nior pro­gramme.

Col­lard, 19 from Ever­s­ley, Hamp­shire, will join the Ger­man mar­que to con­test a sched­ule of races in a fac­tory run M235i Rac­ing this year around his Bri­tish F3 com­mit­ments with the Car­lin team. Col­lard’s ex­act race pro­gramme with BMW has yet to be fi­nalised.

Mclaren Au­tosport BRDC Award fi­nal­ist Col­lard is one of just two new driv­ers to join the scheme this year, with Porsche Car­rera Cup Asia driver Nico Men­zel be­ing the sec­ond. Both landed their spots on the scheme af­ter im­press­ing a panel of judges in a shootout in the M235i Rac­ing in March.

All BMW Mo­tor­sport Ju­nior driv­ers un­dergo fit­ness, men­tal and train­ing pro­grammes, as well as gain­ing race ex­pe­ri­ence with the fac­tory team.

Col­lard said: “This is a great chance for me and a real ca­reer boost. Be­ing part of the BMW fam­ily opens up a lot of new av­enues. I love sin­gle-seaters and the feel of rac­ing them, but if I can stay part of BMW it gives me scope to do GTS, tour­ing cars and DTM. I’d love to find my­self in a DTM car one day, that’s a dream.

“My pro­gramme will def­i­nitely in­clude some VLN races and there’s talk of the Nur­bur­gring 24 Hours too, which would be in­cred­i­ble. I’ve never even driven the Nord­schleife on a Playsta­tion, so I’ve got a lot of work to do to be ready this year.”

Dirk Adorf, who heads up BMW’S young driver train­ing scheme, added: “I am happy the shootout pro­duced two driv­ers as promis­ing as Ricky and Nico. They will get to see first hand what they can achieve on the BMW Ju­nior pro­gramme.”

Col­lard is the third Bri­ton to be added to BMW’S mo­tor­sport ros­ter, along­side DTM racer Tom Blomqvist and fac­tory GT3 driver Alexan­der Sims.

Photos: BMW Mo­tor­sport, Creven­tic

Col­lard (l) and Nico Men­zel are Ju­niors

Col­lard will get race mileage in BMW M235i Rac­ing ma­chine

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