Fast-starting Collard sprints to victory at Oulton Park

  • Ricky Collard overhauls pole man Lando Norris to claim his second win of the season
  • Carlton Herta third for his maiden podium finish
  • Rafael Martins the Rookie class victor for the first time

OULTON PARK 6 JUNE, 2015 – Ricky Collard delivered as he promised after qualifying a ‘Collard special’ start to take control from the outset of the 10th round of the Ford EcoBoost-powered MSA Formula Championship this afternoon. The TRS Arden driver outgunned pole man Lando Norris (Carlin) to lead into Old Hall corner; though Norris tried his hardest to find a way past him it was Collard still in front after 13 laps of dicing.

Ricky crossed the line four-tenths ahead of Lando to collect his second win of the season and extend his championship lead. The Hampshireman was delighted with his victory, not least because he had to cope with a lengthy safety car period and subsequent restart: “The Collard start is back again. That went perfectly and I knew that once I had got in front it would be so important to use my experience. I pushed really hard and built a gap, and then the safety car came out, which was a bit of a shame. The restart was really good though and while Lando caught me towards the end and I made a couple of mistakes, they weren’t big enough to let him get back past. Someone has to challenge Carlin and I think we are doing a pretty good job.”

Norris’s Carlin team-mate Colton Herta pulled off the overtake of the race to secure third, his maiden podium finish of the year. The American – youngest driver in the race – held fourth behind SWB Motorsport’s Rafael Martins up to the ninth lap, and lined the Brazilian up perfectly to slot ahead of him on lap 10. Colton went on to set the fastest lap in his pursuit of the leading duo, crossing the line a second behind victor Collard.

Said Herta: “I had some good runs at Martins but couldn’t take advantage of them. Finally I got him when he didn’t think I was going to do it; I got him under braking and he couldn’t defend. I’m not disappointed that it has taken me this long to make the podium because I think it shows how much I have grown. I have been working hard at it.”

Martins felt there was something amiss with his car: “I think for sure there was something wrong with the left rear.” Nonetheless he held on for fourth at the line and with it his maiden Rookie class win, and with it Ford’s £500 cash prize.

Matheus Leist (Double R) and Jack Barlow (MBM) held fifth and sixth places respectively all the way from opening lap to chequered flag. Dan Ticktum (Fortec) would have finished behind them for seventh but for a technical issue on the final lap which cost him two places. Carlin’s Petru Florescu nipped ahead of Ticktum for seventh (and second in the Rookie class) and Sennan Fielding took advantage also to secure eighth for the JHR Developments squad.

Dan Baybutt survived an opening-lap punt from behind at the hairpin, and subsequent understeer, to take 10th place and with it pole position for this afternoon’s reverse-grid sprint race. The top 15 was completed by Tarun Reddy’s Double R machine, Josh Smith in the Racing Steps Foundation-backed car, Sandy Mitchell (Arden), Louise Richardson (Richardson Racing) and Enaam Ahmed (Arden), who battled through from penultimate place on the grid. Championship debutant Jessica Hawkins claimed 19th for Falcon.

The other newcomer, Toby Sowery, spun off on the second lap, his Fortec car coming to rest in a dangerous position, which prompted the safety car call. JTR’s James Pull was a lap-one spinner and retiree.

Provisional results Round 10 Oulton Park 6 June 2015
13 laps / 28.94 miles
1 Ricky COLLARD / GBR / TRS Arden 20m 56.608s / 82.90mph
2 Lando NORRIS / GBR / Carlin +0.447s
3 Colton HERTA / USA / Carlin +1.028s
4 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / SWB +4.033s
5 Matheus LEIST / BRA / Double R +4.664s
6 Jack BARLOW / GBR / MBM +7.440s
7 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin +9.585s
8 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR +9.805s
9 Daniel TICKTUM / GBR / Fortec +9.828s
10 Daniel BAYBUTT / GBR / JTR +10.116s etc

Fastest lap Herta 1m 23.195s / 96.32mph Est Rec

Rookie class 1 Martins, 2 Florescu, 3 Ticktum, 4 Baybutt, 5 Josh SMITH / GBR / Fortec, 6 Sandy MITCHELL / GBR / TRS Arden, 7 Enaam AHMED / GBR / TRS Arden, 8 Darius KARBALEY / GBR / Falcon, 9 Ameya VAIDYANATHAN / IND / JTR.

Grid for Round 11 Baybutt – Ticktum – Fielding – Florescu – Barlow – Leist – Martins – Herta – Norris – Collard etc

Full results

Provisional championship standings
1 Collard 155 points; 2 Norris 138; 3 Ticktum 122; 4 Leist 115; 5 Mitchell 87; 6 James Pull 78; 7 Herta 65; 8 Barlow 56; 9 Martins 52; 10 Fielding 47 etc
Rookie class 1 Ticktum 186; 2 Baybutt 132; 3 Mitchell 131; 4 Martins 119; 5 Ahmed 106; 6 Florescu 105 etc