Collard sprints to victory at the Rock

  • Ricky gets his title bid back on track with a fifth win of the year in MSA Formula
  • Sennan Fielding takes second and more valuable championship points
  • Sandy Mitchell third and the Rookie class victor

ROCKINGHAM 6 SEPTEMBER, 2015 – Ricky Collard underlined his commitment to winning the MSA Formula Championship title this morning, the TRS Arden driver claiming his fifth Ford EcoBoost-powered win of the season at Rockingham. After his qualifying accident and his top-eight finish in yesterday’s race, victory was exactly what the 19-year-old was aiming for and needed, and he delivered in spades.

Ricky took the lead from his fast-starting team-mate Sandy Mitchell, who led the opening lap from the pole. As they swung from the banking into the tricky Deene hairpin on lap two, Collard nosed in front and quickly built a useful advantage.

Though that lead was wiped out by a brief safety car period, Collard re-established his advantage at the restart and kept a second’s gap between himself and Sennan Fielding – who passed Mitchell for P2 at Deene on the sixth lap – to win by 1.8s.

“I needed to do that,” said Ricky. “To get another win under my belt is good. Sandy made a lightning start but I managed to get him after the first lap and control the race from there. I’m close to the lead of the championship again now and this is MSA Formula, so who knows what’s going to happen in the coming races…”

JHR Developments driver Fielding, who started fourth on the grid behind Mitchell, Collard and Carlin’s Petru Florescu, took his 10th podium finish of the season to consolidate his championship third. Said Sennan: “It was a great race and the car felt good – we made a few changes from yesterday and that helped massively. Another strong result. My plan is to stay out of trouble and keep whacking in the points – there are still a lot of points to be grabbed even though it’s coming to the end stage of the championship.”

After slipping to third, 15-year-old Mitchell resisted the attentions of Double R’s Matheus Leist to secure his first overall podium finish since his Thruxton race wins. “I had a good start and led for a lap but the tow was quite strong around the banking and Ricky managed to get me on the brakes into the hairpin,” said Sandy. “Sennan went past me at the same point; after that I managed to settle down and put in some good lap times and keep Matheus behind me. I’m really happy to be back on the podium with third place.”

Mitchell also claimed the Rookie class win – his third of the season – with class points leader Dan Ticktum (Fortec) the runner-up thanks to his fifth-place finish behind Leist. Enaam Ahmed made it three Arden drivers in the overall top six.

There was a great battle over seventh place disputed by Carlin team-mates Colton Herta and Lando Norris, and MBM driver Toby Sowery. From the back of the grid, Sowery shot through to 13th on the opening lap and made steady progress up to ninth and on to Norris’s tail by the sixth lap. Toby snuck past Lando at Deene on lap 11 but an attempted repeat on Colton at the same corner two laps later ended in failure and Norris was able to repass Sowery. Thus Herta took seventh at the line ahead of Saturday victor Norris, with Sowery ninth and JTR’s Indian racer Ameya Vaidyanathan 10th to record his maiden top-10 finish.

Florescu dropped to the rear of the pack on the second lap and battled back to finish 11th, ahead of JHR man Jack Butel, JTR’s Dan Baybutt, and Fortec’s James Pull, who suffered a knock early on which left his steering out of kilter. Josh Smith (Fortec) and Greg Holloway (Richardson Racing) completed the finishing order, with Tarun Reddy (Double R) and Louise Richardson (Richardson Racing) both retiring with mechanical gremlins. Jess Hawkins (Falcon) suffered broken suspension after a collision, and Rafa Martins’ race ended on the opening lap after he attacked a ‘sausage kerb’ too aggressively and damaged his SWB car’s suspension – it was his incident which required the early safety car period.

The ITV4 live-televised Rockingham finale follows at 1550.

Provisional results Round 23 Rockingham 6 September 2015
14 laps / 27.16 miles
1 Ricky COLLARD / GBR / TRS Arden 20m 10.127s / 80.79mph
2 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR +1.193s
3 Sandy MITCHELL / GBR / TRS Arden +3.954s
4 Matheus LEIST / BRA / Double R +5.111s
5 Daniel TICKTUM / GBR / Fortec +9.132s
6 Enaam AHMED / GBR / TRS Arden +10.485s
7 Colton HERTA / USA / Carlin +17.512s
8 Lando NORRIS / GBR / Carlin +17.803s
9 Toby SOWERY / GBR / MBM +17.999s
10 Ameya VAIDYANATHAN / IND / JTR +19.567s etc
Fastest lap Fielding 1m 19.186s / 88.19mph

Rookie class 1 Mitchell; 2 Ticktum; 3 Ahmed; 4 Vaidyanathan; 5 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin; 6 Daniel BAYBUTT / GBR / JTR; 7 Josh SMITH / GBR / Fortec

Provisional championship standings
1 Norris 306 points; 2 Collard 304; 3 Fielding 260; 4 Ticktum 245; 5 Herta 228; 6 Leist 201; 7 Mitchell 158; 8 Ahmed 115; 9 James Pull 90; 10 Tarun Reddy 81 etc
Rookie class 1 Ticktum 401; 2 Mitchell 309; 3 Ahmed 308; 4 Florescu 264; 5 Baybutt 247 etc

Full times