COLLARD JR GETS BMW TIN-TOP SEAT
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.
Collard (l) and Nico Menzel are Juniors
Collard will get race mileage in BMW M235i Racing machine