Ricky Collard says that making his Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship debut at Rockingham this weekend will be a “fantastic opportunity” - although he’s a little bit sad that he’s replacing his father Rob, who is forced to miss the next two rounds of the series on medical advice.

The 22-year old BMW Motorsport Junior driver will drive the WSR-run Team BMW 125i M Sport at Rockingham and Knockhill, as Rob recovers from a concussion sustained as a result of two high-speed incidents last time out at Snetterton.

There is no doubting Ricky’s talent and what an exciting addition he is to the BTCC grid. Ricky – who wears a Stilo ST5 F 8860, fitted with a short visor and a top air system all supplied by Nicky Grist Motorsports – started his career in the MSA Cadet Championship. He raced in the CIK FIA World Championship and become a RSF Finalist, an MSA Academy and BRDC Rising Star driver, a McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver Of The Year Finalist and finished runner-up in the 2015 British F4 and 2016 British F3 championships. A class-winner at the 2017 Nurburgring 24 Hours and a race winner in Germany’s ultra-competitive ADAC GT Masters series, Ricky now races primarily in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup – although he did test the BMW 125i M Sport BTCC car at Silverstone late last year and has participated in several pre-event shakedown sessions.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for me,” said Ricky. “I’ve been around the BTCC paddock throughout my childhood and teenage years watching dad race – mostly with WSR – and I’ve been desperate to compete in the series for a long time, especially for a team with their record of success. While I never wanted my debut to be under circumstances like this, Team BMW are one of the best in the BTCC, have won the championship for the past two seasons and are right in the thick of the title battle again. My target is to do the best job I can and help score as many points as possible for the Teams’ and Manufacturers’ championships.”