Croft Round 15 race report: Collard awarded victory

  • Fortec driver Dan Ticktum slots ahead at the start and resists pressure race-long to claim the win, but is later excluded
  • Ricky Collard inherits win, ahead of Lando Norris, to maintain championship lead

CROFT 28 JUNE, 2015 – Daniel Ticktum drove what he described as his “hardest and best” race yet to win this afternoon’s Croft MSA Formula Championship finale. The Ford EcoBoost-powered Fortec driver took control at the start and held on in front to the end despite pressure all the way to the line, first from Carlin man Lando Norris and latterly from championship leader Ricky Collard’s TRS Arden machine. However a month after his win, Ticktum was excluded from the results by the Motor Sports Council National Court.

Sixteen-year-old Ticktum started second on the grid behind Norris and despite Lando making a good start, Dan’s was better and he pulled clear as they entered Clervaux for the first time. Ticktum pulled a car’s length advantage on the opening lap but was unable to edge further ahead of his pursuer who, when he wasn’t busy defending his second place from Collard’s attentions, was making frequent attempts to prise a gap from Ticktum through which to seize the lead.

Dan was able to fend off every move: “It was very, very difficult – probably my hardest race yet and the best I’ve ever driven in my career, including karting. The pressure was there the entire time and I couldn’t afford to make a single mistake, and I didn’t. I had to defend the whole time and without trying to sound cocky I surprised myself that I drove as well as I did. It’s a great way to end the weekend.”

Collard took second from Norris at the start of the 13th lap thanks to a better exit from the hairpin, pulling level with the Carlin man down the main straight before slotting ahead into Clervaux. “I was waiting for Lando to make a move on Dan, but it never came so I knew I had to pass Lando if I was to have any hope of winning the race. Dan slowed things down a bit through the chicane and I was able to get a good cut-back and slingshot past Lando.” Thanks to Ticktum’s eventual exclusion and his inherited win, Collard entered the mid-season break with a 25-point championship lead

Norris was disappointed with his result: “Our pace in general was quite good, just not down the straight and I couldn’t really do anything about Ricky coming past. Dan got a better start than me; mine was all right but his was better.”

Carlin’s Petru Florescu slotted ahead of his team-mate Colton Herta at the start to move into fourth, and defended the position well from the young American until the sixth lap, when Herta ran wide and off at Sunny to allow JHR Developments driver Sennan Fielding through to fifth spot. Two laps later Fielding moved in front of Florescu to secure what would become third, with Petru holding fourth to the end to score his best result of the season and take the Rookie class honours in addition.

Following her Saturday podium finish, Richardson Racing driver Louise Richardson was in strong form again and claimed fifth at the line, holding off the Double R car of Matheus Leist for the duration. Sandy Mitchell secured seventh , and second position on the Rookie podium, for TRS Arden after Herta ran wide once more, this time out of Clervaux, on the penultimate lap. Tarun Reddy (Double R) and Daniel Baybutt (JTR) completed the top nine, with Rafael Martins 10th for SWB Motorsport and Enaam Ahmed (TRS Arden) close behind.

Saturday winner Josh Smith found his luck reversed, the 16-year-old being forced to pull into the pits after one lap with a fuel pressure issue. Darius Karbaley (Falcon) joined him in retirement.

Provisional results Round 15 Croft 28 June 2015 amended
15 laps / 31.87 miles
1 Ricky COLLARD / GBR / TRS Arden 20m 54.376s / 91.48mph
2 Lando NORRIS / GBR / Carlin +0.469s
3 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR +1.684s
4 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin +4.734s
5 Louise RICHARDSON / GBR / Richardson +5.243s
6 Matheus LEIST / BRA / Double R +7.149s
7 Sandy MITCHELL / GBR / TRS Arden +7.685s
8 Tarun REDDY / IND / Double R +8.393s
9 Daniel BAYBUTT / GBR / JTR +11.016s
10 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / SWB +12.005s etc

Fastest lap Norris 1m 22.725s / 92.47mph

Rookie class 1 Florescu, 2 Mitchell, 3 Baybutt, 4 Martins, 5 Enaam AHMED / GBR / TRS Arden, 6 Ameya VAIDYANATHAN / IND / JTR

Full results

Provisional championship standings
1 Collard 219 points; 2 Norris 194; 3 Leist 162; 4 Daniel Ticktum 149; 5 Fielding 139; 6 Mitchell 105; 7 Colton Herta 101; 8 James Pull 86; 9 Jack Barlow 66; 10 Martins 62 etc
Rookie class 1 Ticktum 238; 2 Mitchell 205; 3 Baybutt 204; 4 Florescu 173; 5 Martins 168 etc