TEAM NEWS: Collard and Mitchell reign at Rockingham

TRS Arden drivers Sandy Mitchell & Ricky Collard with (right) Sennan Fielding

Report supplied by team PR

TEAM NEWS 10 SEPTEMBER, 2015 – It was a mixed weekend for TRS Arden for rounds 22, 23 and 24 of the MSA Formula Championship held at Rockingham Circuit, Corby.

Testing on Friday was very close, with less than one second covering the top 11 drivers at Rockingham. Championship leader Ricky Collard was second fastest in the morning session just 0.176s off Carlin’s Lando Norris. After struggling to post a quicker time in the afternoon, Ricky ended up being fifth fastest overall on Friday just beating team mate Enaam to complete the top five. Enaam had a positive day finishing in the top six in both the morning and afternoon free practise sessions. Sandy’s morning session came to an end early doors after carrying too much speed in the chicane causing him to brush the wall as he came out on to the unyielding nature of Rockingham’s pit straight. However, in the afternoon he managed ninth fastest overall.

It was looking to be a wet qualifying on Saturday after early morning downpours, however, due to not being the first cars on circuit, a dry line soon appeared. Ricky had a disastrous qualifying after hooking a wheel on the kerb out of Gracelands (turn 8) and slid sideways into the barriers. This put an end to his session bringing out the red flags just 10 minutes in. Enaam posted the sixth fastest time and Sandy Mitchell completed the top 10.

Enaam had a great start in race one past Leist [Double R] and Fielding [JHR Developments] into fourth place, which is where he finished. Ricky made the best of his difficult situation, starting from 20th he managed to make seven places up by the end of lap one which saw him in 13th just before the safety car was deployed which then gave him a great opportunity to attack to finish in a good position for the reverse grid race. Sandy made a good start from 10th and got into 9th before the first corner before dropping back to 10th as Fortec’s Josh Smith gained his place back from Sandy. Sandy went on to finish 10th just missing out on the reverse grid pole position for race two. JTR’s Daniel Baybutt was given a 10-second penalty from eighth after misjudging the start which then gave Sandy pole and Ricky second for the reverse grid in race two on Sunday morning.

A great race for Arden’s junior MSA Formula team on Sunday morning, which saw all three drivers finish in the top six. Sandy made a great start from pole position, whilst Ricky suffered from wheel spin but managed to defend his second place until he took the lead on lap two, turn two from team mate Sandy. Ricky then managed to control his lead from there taking his fifth win of the season. Enaam brought home more solid consistent points, closely behind Sandy and Ricky, in sixth place from eighth on the grid. JHR’s Sennan Fielding took second place from Sandy after the safety car pulled in on lap four. Sandy finished third and claimed the Rookie class win.

Enaam was in the hunt for a podium finish with being the only front runner with new tyres for race three by lap five, he had made it into fourth which was unfortunately taken away from him on lap five due to a drive-through penalty. Sandy was also unfortunate of a drive-through penalty after also lying in fourth at the point when the penalty was issued. Ricky again had to drive from 20th and last on the grid, the legacy of his qualifying incident. However he made great progress and secured another eighth place finish to bring home some points.

Ricky Collard: “I apologise to the team for the mistake I made in qualifying, it cost us a great deal of points. The determination to succeed has been a real backbone in keeping my championship hopes alive. Another win at the weekend shows we still have the ability to win the championship and with a fresh mind at Silverstone I feel positive we can push for more wins and more importantly the championship.”

Sandy Mitchell: “I had a strong ninth place finish in race one. It was great to be back on the overall podium in race two and the top step of the rookie podium. It’s a shame that I was given a drive through penalty in error in race three. Now looking forward to Silverstone. Thanks to TRS Arden and all my sponsors.”

Enaam Ahmed: “We had some good top-five finishes and I’m very happy with the points we scored. Disappointed with the last race as I felt there was a podium on the cards but this makes me hungrier for Silverstone.”

Sandy makes sure of victory with Ford power once again

  • Pole man Mitchell shakes off a first-lap challenge to claim Thruxton win number 2
  • Ricky Collard makes it a TRS Arden 1-2 and takes championship lead after Dan Ticktum drops out of race

THRUXTON 10 MAY, 2015 – Just as he did on Saturday, 15-year-old Sandy Mitchell showed his MSA Formula rivals the way around the Thruxton circuit this afternoon, leading for very nearly the whole of the live-televised finale to claim the second victory of his car-racing career. His team-mate Ricky Collard followed him home to make it a TRS Arden 1-2, a result which puts Collard on top of the championship table after erstwhile leader Dan Ticktum again suffered mechanical issues.

Sandy started from the pole again and made a better start than he did yesterday to claim the lead into Allard, but Sennan Fielding (JHR Developments) made a rocketship getaway also from P4 to slot ahead of Collard and the Carlin car of Lando Norris before passing Mitchell half-way around the lap. But Sandy was not to be denied and slipstreamed Fielding up Woodham lead to regain control before the lap’s end. Sandy crossed the line four-tenths ahead, and that was as close as anyone would get to him for the rest of the race.

Norris attacked Fielding all the way around lap two, passing him next time around to secure second, with Sennan then pushed back to fifth by Collard and Matheus Leist’s Double R car. It didn’t take long for Collard to take the fight to Norris, and by the seventh lap he was through, executing a deft pass down Lando’s inside at Church. Five laps later Norris regained the position at Cobb, only for Collard to repass up Woodham Hill and be followed through by Leist, pushing Lando back to fourth.

Norris regained a position from Leist on the penultimate lap, and crossed the line for third just six-tenths behind Collard, with Mitchell a comfortable four-and-a-half seconds in the clear. Leist collected fourth, with a delighted Petru Florescu a season-best fifth (and second in the Rookie class behind Mitchell) for Carlin.

Winner Sandy Mitchell “I came here knowing that I had the speed and just hoping that I could turn that into some results, and now I have. It’s never easy leading a race, you always have to have maximum focus the whole time, but everything went well and I can’t wait for the next race now. Everything has gone really well with the car this weekend, the chassis and the EcoBoost engine have been perfect.”

Second, Ricky Collard “Championship leader… wow, that’s a great result. Obviously it’s a shame for Dan; I would have like to have had a battle with him. The team have done such a great job, and this is a 1-2, which makes it a bit special. We are going to keep pushing for wins and now we are in the championship lead it’s more important than ever to keep our heads down and focus on that.”

Fifth, Petru Florescu “Finally! It’s good to get a strong finish. But I was lucky because the cars behind me nearly crashed into me, and I had to go straight to stay out of their way.”

Florescu was indeed fortunate to avoid the colliding cars of Fielding and James Pull (JTR), who clashed while disputing sixth place on the penultimate lap. Pull pulled off but Fielding was able to continue to eighth, behind the cars of Tarun Reddy (Double R) and Rafael Martins (SWB). Colton Herta collected ninth for Carlin, with Enaam Ahmed 10th for TRS Arden. Jack Barlow and Louise Richardson completed the top 12.

Dan Baybutt’s race ended after just a lap after a tap from behind sent him off track; he and Pull were joined in retirement by Jack Butel (SWB) and by Dan Ticktum, who suffered a recurrence of the fuel surge issue which blighted his earlier race today.

Provisional results Round 9, Thruxton, 10 May 2015
16 laps / 37.70 miles
1 Sandy MITCHELL / GBR / TRS Arden 20m 00.655s / 113.02mph
2 Ricky COLLARD / GBR / TRS Arden +4.484s
3 Lando NORRIS / GBR / Carlin +5.120s
4 Matheus LEIST / BRA / Double R +5.858s
5 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin +11.768s
6 Tarun REDDY / IND / Double R +13.609s
7 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / SWB +14.353s
8 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR +14.866s
9 Colton HERTA / USA / Carlin +19.654s
10 Enaam AHMED / GBR / TRS Arden +20.223s etc

Fastest lap Collard 1m 14.495s / 113.85mph

Rookie class 1 Mitchell, 2 Florescu, 3 Martins, 4 Ahmed, 5 Josh SMITH / GBR / Fortec, 6 Darius KARBALEY / GBR / Falcon, 7 Ameya VAIDYANATHAN / IND / JTR

Full results

Provisional championship standings
1 Collard 130 points, 2 Ticktum 120, 3 Norris 115, 4 Leist 105, 5 Mitchell 86, 6 James Pull 78 etc
Rookie class 1 Ticktum 171, 2 Mitchell 123, 3 Daniel Baybutt 120, 4 Ahmed 100, 5 Martins 88 etc

Sandy Mitchell signs for Arden’s MSA Formula squad

  • Scottish youngster excited to be joining top team for his graduation from karting

Super One Rotax Series5 January, 2015 – Arden Junior Racing Team has today announced its first signing for the new MSA Formula championship – British Super One Junior Max Kart Champion Sandy Mitchell. Forfar-based Sandy turns 15 in March, a month ahead of the Brands Hatch opening rounds of the new Ford EcoBoost-powered and FIA-certified junior single-seater series.

Sandy, who hopes to follow in the wheeltracks of illustrious former Super One winners Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and David Coulthard, says he is ready to make the leap from karts to cars: “Driving with Arden in this amazing new MSA Formula championship will really be something special. The new MSA Formula car looks fantastic and I am now fully focused on the transition from karting to single seaters.”

Arden team principal Garry Horner said: “We are very pleased to have Sandy as our first signing for the 2015 season. We have an established relationship with the Mitchell family since last year when Sandy joined the Young Racing Driver Academy. He is the first driver from the academy to progress into a single-seater championship, demonstrating the importance of the programme.”

Arden, which has secured three chassis for the coming MSA Formula season, was founded by Christian Horner and his father Garry at the beginning of 1997 to contest the FIA F3000 Championship. In 2014 it fielded teams in GP3, GP2 and World Series.

Mitchell took his first exploratory karting laps at his home circuit of Knockhill in 2008 and went on to win his first championship title, in the NSKC Honda Cadet Championship at Golspie, the following season, aged nine. He went on to claim further Scottish titles in 2010 and made his debut on English tracks in 2011, taking the British Honda Cadet Open Championship crown in 2012. His 2014 Super One Junior Max title victory was sealed at the championship finale in September.

Arden is one of 12 teams which will contest MSA Formula – Certified by FIA, Powered by Ford EcoBoost. The 30-race championship offers live TV and a support-race slot alongside the British Touring Car Championship. Carlin, Double R Racing, Falcon Motorsport, Fortec Motorsport, JHR Developments, JTR, MBM Motorsport, Richardson Racing, Scorpio Motorsport, SWB Motorsport and Team Pyro will join Arden on the grid, their drivers bidding to win a slice of the £30,000 cash prize fund and a Hankook-provided prize for the champion of a test drive with a leading FIA Formula 3 team.