Collard on top in Silverstone thriller

  • Win number six for Ricky Collard to narrow points gap to championship leader Lando Norris
  • Collard snatches the win away from Sennan Fielding three laps from home

SILVERSTONE 27 SEPTEMBER, 2015 – Ricky Collard fought his way to the front to claim his sixth Ford EcoBoost-powered win of the MSA Formula season this morning, overpowering Sennan Fielding near the end of a tense and dramatic race played out in front of a bumper Silverstone BTCC crowd.

After a relatively low-key day in his TRS Arden machine yesterday, 19-year-old BRDC Rising Star Ricky was in no mood for compromise despite the disadvantage of a fifth-place grid slot for the 20-minute reverse-grid race. He claimed two scalps on the opening lap and then followed Fielding past early leader Dan Baybutt to hit second by the seventh lap. The ensuing 14 laps kept spectators enthralled as JHR Developments driver Fielding and Collard battled to decide the outcome.

Ricky’s first serious challenge came at the end of lap 17 as they entered Luffield, Collard drawing alongside his rival before Fielding closed the door to maintain his advantage. Ricky regrouped and staged another Luffield assault next time around as Sennan took a slightly wider line; it was enough of a gap for Collard to impose himself on the inside and run side by side with Fielding down the pits straight, crossing the line one-thousandth of a second ahead before Ricky made his overtake secure through Copse at the start of the 19th tour.

An unsettled Fielding had no time to think about repassing: his mirrors were suddenly full of the Fortec car of Dan Ticktum, which had battled back to third after losing ground in the early laps. Collard crossed the line six-tenths clear of Fielding, with Ticktum a further four-hundredths behind for third place. Ticktum was later excluded from the results of the Silverstone meeting.

“I made a really good start,” said a jubilant Collard, “I think the best start I made all season. I knew it really had to count. The first 10 minutes of the race was absolutely frantic – I had Sowery attacking me really hard from behind, and so was Ticktum, and I was trying to attack Fielding… It was a really, really enjoyable race. I knew I had one shot at taking the lead and I was trying to work out where I was stronger than him. Luffield had to be the place. He made a bit of a mistake going into Brooklands and I managed to get inside him – one of my best moves of the season – and we were rubbing wheels all the way around Luffield and all the way down the main straight at 120mph. These Ford EcoBoost cars absolutely awesome to drive. All credit to Sennan, too – we raced hard but we raced fair.”

Added Sennan: “Ricky hit me quite hard a couple of times during the race, including on the first lap, which sent me wide – that caused quite a loss of rear-end grip. Then there was contact at Luffield, where he managed to get in front.”

Ticktum and MBM Motorsport driver Toby Sowery battled tooth and nail for much of the race. Sowery crossed the line behind him for fourth but alas was deemed to have exceeded track limits on several occasions, netting him 15 seconds in penalties to drop him well down the finishing order.

With Sowery’s penalty and Ticktum’s exclusion, third thus went the way of Double R’s Matheus Leist, with JTR’s Baybutt, who led the opening six laps after getting a better start from P2 on the grid than did pole man Sandy Mitchell, classified fourth. Colton Herta was Carlin’s leading finisher in fifth, just ahead of top-10 returnee Rafael Martins for SWB Motorsport.

Saturday race victor and championship leader Lando Norris took seventh for Carlin, with Jack Butel scoring a personal-best eighth at the wheel of his JHR Developments car. TRS Arden man Mitchell, who was penalised five seconds for track limits, completed the top nine ahead of Carlin’s Petru Florescu and Enaam Ahmed (TRS Arden). The penalised Sowery was classified 12th with the top 15 completed by Darius Karbaley for Falcon Motorsport, Tarun Reddy for Double R and Fortec’s Josh Smith.

Amended provisional results Round 26 Silverstone 27 September 2015
21 laps / 34.45 miles
1 Ricky COLLARD / GBR / TRS Arden 20m 21.285s / 101.54 mph
2 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR +0.693s
3 Matheus LEIST / BRA / Double R +1.889s
4 Daniel BAYBUTT / GBR / JTR +5.661s
5 Colton HERTA / USA / Carlin +8.467s
6 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / SWB +8.954s
7 Lando NORRIS / GBR / Carlin +9.307s
8 Jack BUTEL / GBR / JHR +11.206s
9 Sandy MITCHELL / GBR / TRS Arden +13.718s
10 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin +14.299s etc
Fastest lap Collard 57.110s / 103.40mph

Rookie class 1 Baybutt; 2 Martins; 3 Mitchell; 4 Florescu; 5 Enaam AHMED / GBR / TRS Arden; 6 Darius KARBALEY / GBR / Falcon; 7 Josh SMITH / GBR / Fortec

Full times