Beginnings in motorsport
Collard began his motorsport career in 1982 with the karting. After he won several karting championships until 1988, he moved in 1989 to the French Formula Renault. Right away he became vice-champion and the following season he achieved his championship victory. Then he switched on the French Formula 3 Championship in 1992 in the International Formula 3000 Championship, where he was less successful. 1994 Collard was up on the sports car and went in the Porsche Supercup at the start. From the beginning he was fighting for the championship, which he finally won in 1996.
Involvement in Formula 1
Collard tried several times to take in Formula 1 foot, but came nir beyond the role as a test driver. As previously youngest racer who ever moved a Formula 1 racing car, in 1990 he was test driver for Formula 1 team Ligier, where he remained until 1991. In 1995, he again won a place as a test driver for Benetton. As Collard 1996 now tested for Tyrrell, he had great views of a racing debut, but had to give a low budget on its commitment to the British team. Team boss Ken Tyrrell was disappointed that such a talented pilot did not get enough financial support from sponsors. In early 1997, circulated the name Collard again in the Formula 1 paddock. This time he was as a substitute for the disappointing Shinji Nakano at Prost in conversation. But since Mugen- Honda did not want to give up his driver, Prost had to abandon his plans. When Olivier Panis injured at the Grand Prix of Canada, to Collard hopes of made its race debut. Surprisingly, however, chose team boss Alain Prost under pressure from Flavio Briatore its pilot Jarno Trulli as a substitute for Panis. Without prospects for racing applications Collard 1998 spent at Arrows for another year as a test driver in Formula 1
BPR Global GT Series and the FIA GT Championship
In the Porsche factory team Collard was allowed at the season final of the BPR Global GT Series in Zhuhai at the wheel of the new Porsche 911 GT1, which he victoriously finished with Ralf Kelleners. In the FIA GT Championship series called successor Collard piloted in 1997 with teammates changing a Porsche 911 GT1 by JB Racing, but was unsuccessful. After a single use in Roock Racing In 1998, he in 2002 two races a Porsche 996 GT3 RS of Freising Motorsport. With Stéphane Ortelli he won first in Anderstorp and scored a short time later an even bigger success than it imports the third place overall and a class win at the 24 hour race in Spa -Francorchamps with Romain Dumas and Ortelli. In 2003, he played half a season with EMKA Racing and won a race. During the 2004 season Collard started again for Freising Motorsport, where he had his most successful season with three class victories. He could again celebrate, among others, Ortelli and Dumas in Spa -Francorchamps and eventually reached number two in the championship of the Class N- GT. In Group M Racing Collard won two races in 2005, and the following season he won a victory for Ebimotors. In the 2007 season he succeeded with Marc Lieb and Matteo Malucelli BMS Scuderia Italia his third win at the season climax of the FIA GT Championship. 2008 Collard moved to the side of Richard Westbrook Prospeed Competition. The first season in his new team was initially less successful and he was able to enter with Westbrook just one win. With three victories fought Collard 2009 to last for the title. However, Porsche ordered the last race at Zolder, Collard to put into the car of Brixia Racing to increase the probability of winning a Porsche pilots. While Westbrook won the race and secured the championship, Collard was only sixth and had to make do without the title, even though he previously played the entire season with his teammate Westbrook.
American Le Mans Series
2000 Collard gave DAMS for his debut in the American Le Mans Series. There he drove with Éric Bernard a Cadillac Northstar LMP, but without great success. The following year he started his season with Alex Job Racing and scored with Lucas Luhr and Sascha Maassen in the Porsche 996 GT3 -RS class victory at the 12 Hours of Sebring. Later he shared with Christophe Tinseau again a cockpit in Cadillac, where he was against the superior Audi R8 and Panoz LMP -1 but no chance. Until the withdrawal of Cadillac from the 2002 ALMS Collard played with Bernard one more season, but did not come out with a fourth place at the Petit Le Mans. Since 2006 Collard has again individual inserts the ALMS. It supports the regular drivers of Penske Racing Porsche RS Spyder in the two season highlights. 2006 celebrated class victory Collard at Petit Le Mans with Timo Bernhard and Maassen. At Sebring, Collard came in 2008 one of the biggest successes of his career when he imports the overall victory with Romain Dumas and Bernhard, thereby beat the much stronger Audi R10 TDI.
Le Mans Series
In the newly founded Le Mans Series Collard began the 2004 season with an insert with Pescarolo Sport. He spent the rest of the season at Freising Motorsport and achieved the 1000- km race in Spa -Francorchamps with Ortelli class victory in the GT category. As of 2005, played a full season for Collard Pescarolo. He won with his team-mate Jean -Christophe Boullion two races, which was enough for the championship victory. 2006 Collard and Boullion dominated the championship will and decided all five races for themselves. So they succeeded by a considerable margin the title defense. In 2007 the team but had to admit defeat to the Peugeot factory team, which won every race with the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP. In 2008, Collard and Boullion had no chance, because now the Audi R10 TDI driven by Joest Racing participated in the series next to the Peugeot. The Porsche RS Spyder Collard 2009 launched as part of the preparation program for the 24- hour race at Le Mans in the 1000 km of Spa. Casper Elgaard, Kristian Poulsen and Collard finished the race as the winner of the category LMP2.
24 - hour race at Le Mans
1995 Collard had his first participation in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, when he was denied the finish however. The following year, he reached for the first time the goal and finished the race in seventh place. In 1997 he moved now in the Porsche factory team with a 911 GT1 on, in which he keeps the cockpit with Yannick Dalmas and Ralf Kelleners shared. In the lead in the morning, however, a fire occurred in the cockpit, so the team was forced to surrender. From 1998 Collard went for Toyota GT -One at the start. Martin Brundle and Éric Hélary were in the debut year in a promising position, but the team fell after 14 hours due to an accident from. The following year, Collard, and Vincenzo Sospiri Brundle went from pole position on the grid, but they were thrown out after 90 laps due to a puncture. As of 2000 Collard went for DAMS Cadillac Northstar LMP at the start. However, the car was not yet mature and so Collard reached with Éric Bernard and Franck Montagny only the 19th Place. The following year, the Cadillac of Marc Goossens, Bernard and Collard had to be taken because of an accident after a few hours of the race. As the vehicle in 2002 was a little more competitive, the team JJ Lehto, Bernard Collard and improved in twelfth place. 2003 Collard had a single participation in the 24 Hours of Le Mans for Alex Job Racing. Sascha Maassen, Lucas Luhr and Collard were end of the race in the Porsche 996 GT3 RS in 14th place and were able to celebrate the class win in the category GT.
As of 2004, launched Collard in the following years exclusively for Pescarolo Sport. In his first Le Mans participation for the Pescarolo Collard and his teammates Sébastien Bourdais, Nicolas Minassian fell out, however. In 2005, Érik Comas, Jean -Christophe Boullion and Collard close to victory when she just two laps less than the winning Audi R8 laid back and so placed second. A year later, Collard, Minassian and Comas were 28 laps down Fifth. 2007 Collard again reached the podium, when he finished the race with Romain Dumas Boullion and third place. The same team also launched again in 2008, but fell after 238 rounds. After the victory at the 1000 km of Spa Collard joined in 2009 at Le Mans with Casper Elgaard and Kristian Poulsen. Collard qualified the now green - white-painted Porsche RS Spyder at No. 20 and the fastest LMP2 pilot at all. The driver trio finished the race in tenth place overall and won the LMP2 category.
Nürburgring Long Distance
2003 Collard ventured for the first time on the Nordschleife. With Lucas Luhr and Timo Bernhard 2003 he was in the Manthey Racing team third in the 24 -hour race at the Nürburgring. In 2005, he played for the second time for Manthey Racing the 24 - hour race. With his teammates Marcel Tiemann, Lucas Luhr and Marcel Tiemann was Collard long time in the lead until the morning the team threw back engine damage to ninth place. 2008 Collard took the team HISAQ Competition with Frank Stippler and Richard Westbrook in a race of the BFGoodrich Endurance Championship part, which ended the team in second place. Little he started for the same team in the 24- hour race. The quartet Marino Franchitti, Stipplers, Westbrook and Collard was a long time in the lead until a gearbox failure threw the vehicle on the night of the race. Back at Manthey Racing headed Collard beginning of the 2009 season a Porsche 997 GT3 Cup S, the GT3 group in two races in the Endurance Championship. In this vehicle Collard joined with Wolf Henzler, Richard Lietz and Dirk Werner in the same year at the 24 -hour race, where the team import in third place and was able to place on the podium. At the last round of the Endurance Championship to Collard told Marcel Tiemann the cockpit of the Porsche 997 GT3 RSR of Manthey and achieved second place.
Other races and race series
1998 Collard triumphed at that time still under the IMSA GT Championship discharged Petit Le Mans. With his team-mate, Eric van de Poele and Wayne Taylor, he was at the end of the race in the Ferrari 333 SP narrow lead. 1998 and 1999 he won with Vincenzo Sospiri also in the Ferrari 333 SP, the FIA Sportscar Championship. Another success Collard 1999 the 24-hour race in Spa -Francorchamps, which was not yet part of a racing series. 2005 Collard won with Max Angelelli and Taylor, the 24 - hour race at Daytona. 2009 Collard started again at Daytona and finished second in the GT class.