Collard on top in the dry, Norris in the wet at Brands

  • Arden’s Ricky Collard leads the Ford EcoBoost runners in morning test
  • Carlin’s Lando Norris quickest in the afternoon’s wet conditions
  • Consistently quick showings in both sessions from Colton Herta, Dan Baybutt

BRANDS HATCH, 26 February, 2015 – Formula Ford veteran Ricky Collard made the best of the weather today on the Brands Indy circuit to secure the best time in the first against-the-clock collective test session of the MSA Formula season.

Ricky accelerated to the top of the timesheets in his Ford EcoBoost-powered Arden-prepared car in the drier morning session, outpacing his closest rival, JTR’s Dan Baybutt, by nine-hundredths of a second. Just 0.5s covered the top seven drivers in the morning session; Colton Herta, Carlin’s young American, was third quickest in the dry, ahead of Fortec’s new signing Dan Ticktum, Arden driver Sandy Mitchell and Carlin’s Lando Norris.

Lando Norris

Lando Norris

Collard’s best lap was 52.574s, and the Hampshireman was pleased with his performance: “To be honest we were just following our running plan and working through our test programme; we were not too fussed what times were being set, so be at the top is no bad thing… The car feels good: the aero package, the mechanical grip and the way the Ford engine is working is so efficient, it’s awesome and I’m really enjoying driving it.”

In the streaming wet afternoon session it was Carlin running mates Norris and Herta who led the way, with Lando popping in an impressive 54.576s after 59 laps of afternoon running. On his 64th and final lap of the session Herta responded with a 54.999s. JTR team-mates James Pull and Baybutt were third and fourth fastest in the wet.

Dan Baybutt

Dan Baybutt

The SWB Motorsport team gave its two MSA Formula chassis their first serious outings today, with Jerseyman Jack Butel an encouraging eighth fastest in the wet. There was a shakedown run also for the first of Richardson Racing’s cars.

Next week the MSA Formula test action switches to Snetterton and Donington Park.

Testing times Brands Hatch 26/2/15 (am/pm)
1 Ricky COLLARD/GBR Arden 52.574s/58.593s
2 Daniel BAYBUTT/GBR JTR 52.662s/55.992s
3 Colton HERTA/USA Carlin 52.747s/54.999s
4 Daniel TICKTUM/GBR Fortec 52.848s/57.086s
5 Sandy MITCHELL/GBR Arden 52.892s/58.707s
6 Lando NORRIS/GBR Carlin 52.914s/54.576s
7 James PULL/GBR JTR 53.086s/55.235s
8 Enaam AHMED/GBR Arden 53.363s/56.939s
9 Josh SMITH/GBR Fortec 53.808s/1m 00.766s
10 Petru FLORESCU/ROU Carlin 54.181s/56.360s etc

Full TSL timesheets

Ricky Collard set for second season of Ford EcoBoost power

28 January, 2015 – Ricky Collard, a podium finisher last season in Formula Ford, is to return to Ford EcoBoost-powered competition in 2015 at the wheel of a TRS Arden-prepared MSA Formula car. The Hampshire 18-year-old completes Arden’s line-up for the coming season, joining Sandy Mitchell and Enaam Ahmed on the squad.

Collard, son of BTCC racer Rob, came close to winning races on several occasions in Formula Ford during his maiden season of car racing, ending the year seventh overall in the championship and runner-up in the Scholarship division for rookies. He’s excited about his switch to MSA Formula, the UK’s FIA-certified Formula 4 championship: “I’m buzzing to get going again and really get stuck into the championship, which is looking to have the best junior talent in the country this year.

“Last season was mixed for me, but I learned so much and hope that I can use that experience to claim some big results this year. Enaam and I were team-mates in my final year of cadet karting; to be able to team up with him again in car racing, particularly after what he’s achieved in the last 12 months, is exciting. Both he and Sandy will push me.”

TRS Arden team principal Garry Horner added: “We are very happy to sign Ricky to our junior team. He already has a year’s experience so has invaluable track and Mygale-Ford knowledge. He completes a really good line-up for us.”

MSA Formula – Certified by FIA, Powered by Ford EcoBoost is Britain’s official version of the FIA’s Formula 4 concept and will be the British Touring Car Championship’s single-seater support series, enjoying live TV coverage and bumper raceday spectator attendance. The 12 teams who will contest it are Arden Motorsport, Carlin, Double R Racing, Falcon Motorsport, Fortec Motorsport, JHR Developments, JTR, MBM Motorsport, Richardson Racing, Scorpio Motorsport, SWB Motorsport and Team Pyro.