Report supplied by driver’s PR
DRIVER NEWS 25 SEPTEMBER, 2015 – It was a weekend of frustration for Fortec Motorsport driver Dan Ticktum after he was unable to capitalise on promising testing and qualifying sessions at Knockhill Racing Circuit.
Dan had topped the timesheets during testing on Friday, ahead of MSA Formula Championship leader Ricky Collard, which gave the team confidence going into the race weekend. Dan followed this with a strong performance in qualifying, setting the pace early on. After two red flags disrupted the session, Dan eventually had to settle for second place on the grid, but was safe in the knowledge that he would start round 21 on pole position given his second fastest qualifying lap was quicker than Championship rival Lando Norris.
Starting Race 1 from second on the grid, Dan forced pole sitter Lando Norris into an error and Norris drove off the track. Unfortunately, Dan was then unable to translate his lead into victory after Ricky Collard locked up his brakes, hitting Dan from the rear and sending him into a spin. Fortunately Dan was able to continue, albeit with a damaged car and he recovered to eighth place.
In the reverse-grid race, Dan started on pole position and eased away from the field. Drama behind him brought the Safety Car out on the opening lap and when racing resumed on lap seven Dan maintained his position and stretched out his lead over Josh Smith to 1.9 seconds. The Safety Car reappeared a lap later, and when the race finally got going again Dan handled the restart with skill, setting the fastest lap (50.423s) on the way to take what would have been his fourth win of the season. Unfortunately, as Dan crossed the start line at the beginning of the final lap, the car lost power and despite his battle to get the machine back up to full speed, he was forced to retire seconds from the end of the race. This was later diagnosed as a fuel supply problem.
For the final race of the weekend, Dan started on pole and was looking to make amends for the two earlier disappointments, but an overeager right foot, combined with an altered clutch bite point, meant Dan crept forward before the lights went out. He did halt this creep and started correctly when the lights went out, but given he had passed the white line of his start box by a few centimetres he was given a drive through penalty. Dan took this penalty straightaway, dropping back to 16th. The challenge was on. With offensive driving, right on the limit, Dan showed great pace picking off the cars in front of him on a circuit which makes it difficult to overtake. Unfortunately, combined with another Safety Car appearance towards the end of the race there just wasn’t enough time for him to make it up to a podium position, but he still managed to finish in eighth position, scoring four vital championship points.
Dan Ticktum: “This weekend is one I would rather forget. Having led all three races, it was extremely disappointing to leave Knockhill having scored so few championship points. The pace is definitely there so looking ahead to Rockingham we need to make sure we let nothing stand in the way of the race wins that slipped out of our hands this weekend.”