Collard and Menzel become BMW juniors

Ricky Collard and Nico Menzel have officially joined BMW's Motorsport Junior programme.

Collard and Menzel become BMW juniors
Ricky Collard, Nico Menzel, Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport Director, Louis Delétraz and Jesse Krohn
Ricky Collard
Ricky Collard
Nico Menzel
Nico Menzel, Louis Delétraz and Jesse Krohn with Dirk Adorf, BMW Motorsport Junior program Mentor

The Briton and the German were selected by BMW after a shootout in March and will now undertake a training programme that includes a number of races with BMW's M235i Racing machine.

Collard, 19, is son of BTCC regular Rob, who has raced BMW machinery in the series since 2008 and has taken 10 wins with the German marque.

The younger Collard is in his third year of car racing, having finished runner-up in FIA F4 series MSA Formula last year and currently sitting second in the British F3 standings.

"I am very proud to be part of this programme,” said Collard. “For me, this is a fantastic chance to develop further as a racing driver.

"So far, I only have experience of single-seater cars. I will now contest my first touring car races in the BMW M235i Racing.

"I am sure I will receive a lot of valuable tips from our head instructor Dirk Adorf. And perhaps my dad can give me the odd piece of advice.”

Menzel, 18, was runner-up in the Formula BMW Talent Cup's final season in 2013 and contested the ADAC Formel Masters series the year after, before switching to Porsche Carrera racing.

He was third in the 2015 edition of Carrera Cup Asia.

"It is fantastic to be back in the BMW family after 2013,” said Menzel.

“I still know a few people from back then and am looking forward to an exciting and varied programme over the coming months.

"The prospect of racing on the Nordschleife is obviously particularly appealing to me, as I only live 10 minutes from the circuit. I think it is going to be a great year.”

The 2016 BMW junior programme line-up also features returnees Jesse Krohn and Louis Deletraz, the latter combining the role with a spot in the Renault driver academy.

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