Collard on top in Silverstone thriller

  • Win number six for Ricky Collard to narrow points gap to championship leader Lando Norris
  • Collard snatches the win away from Sennan Fielding three laps from home

SILVERSTONE 27 SEPTEMBER, 2015 – Ricky Collard fought his way to the front to claim his sixth Ford EcoBoost-powered win of the MSA Formula season this morning, overpowering Sennan Fielding near the end of a tense and dramatic race played out in front of a bumper Silverstone BTCC crowd.

After a relatively low-key day in his TRS Arden machine yesterday, 19-year-old BRDC Rising Star Ricky was in no mood for compromise despite the disadvantage of a fifth-place grid slot for the 20-minute reverse-grid race. He claimed two scalps on the opening lap and then followed Fielding past early leader Dan Baybutt to hit second by the seventh lap. The ensuing 14 laps kept spectators enthralled as JHR Developments driver Fielding and Collard battled to decide the outcome.

Ricky’s first serious challenge came at the end of lap 17 as they entered Luffield, Collard drawing alongside his rival before Fielding closed the door to maintain his advantage. Ricky regrouped and staged another Luffield assault next time around as Sennan took a slightly wider line; it was enough of a gap for Collard to impose himself on the inside and run side by side with Fielding down the pits straight, crossing the line one-thousandth of a second ahead before Ricky made his overtake secure through Copse at the start of the 19th tour.

An unsettled Fielding had no time to think about repassing: his mirrors were suddenly full of the Fortec car of Dan Ticktum, which had battled back to third after losing ground in the early laps. Collard crossed the line six-tenths clear of Fielding, with Ticktum a further four-hundredths behind for third place. Ticktum was later excluded from the results of the Silverstone meeting.

“I made a really good start,” said a jubilant Collard, “I think the best start I made all season. I knew it really had to count. The first 10 minutes of the race was absolutely frantic – I had Sowery attacking me really hard from behind, and so was Ticktum, and I was trying to attack Fielding… It was a really, really enjoyable race. I knew I had one shot at taking the lead and I was trying to work out where I was stronger than him. Luffield had to be the place. He made a bit of a mistake going into Brooklands and I managed to get inside him – one of my best moves of the season – and we were rubbing wheels all the way around Luffield and all the way down the main straight at 120mph. These Ford EcoBoost cars absolutely awesome to drive. All credit to Sennan, too – we raced hard but we raced fair.”

Added Sennan: “Ricky hit me quite hard a couple of times during the race, including on the first lap, which sent me wide – that caused quite a loss of rear-end grip. Then there was contact at Luffield, where he managed to get in front.”

Ticktum and MBM Motorsport driver Toby Sowery battled tooth and nail for much of the race. Sowery crossed the line behind him for fourth but alas was deemed to have exceeded track limits on several occasions, netting him 15 seconds in penalties to drop him well down the finishing order.

With Sowery’s penalty and Ticktum’s exclusion, third thus went the way of Double R’s Matheus Leist, with JTR’s Baybutt, who led the opening six laps after getting a better start from P2 on the grid than did pole man Sandy Mitchell, classified fourth. Colton Herta was Carlin’s leading finisher in fifth, just ahead of top-10 returnee Rafael Martins for SWB Motorsport.

Saturday race victor and championship leader Lando Norris took seventh for Carlin, with Jack Butel scoring a personal-best eighth at the wheel of his JHR Developments car. TRS Arden man Mitchell, who was penalised five seconds for track limits, completed the top nine ahead of Carlin’s Petru Florescu and Enaam Ahmed (TRS Arden). The penalised Sowery was classified 12th with the top 15 completed by Darius Karbaley for Falcon Motorsport, Tarun Reddy for Double R and Fortec’s Josh Smith.

Amended provisional results Round 26 Silverstone 27 September 2015
21 laps / 34.45 miles
1 Ricky COLLARD / GBR / TRS Arden 20m 21.285s / 101.54 mph
2 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR +0.693s
3 Matheus LEIST / BRA / Double R +1.889s
4 Daniel BAYBUTT / GBR / JTR +5.661s
5 Colton HERTA / USA / Carlin +8.467s
6 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / SWB +8.954s
7 Lando NORRIS / GBR / Carlin +9.307s
8 Jack BUTEL / GBR / JHR +11.206s
9 Sandy MITCHELL / GBR / TRS Arden +13.718s
10 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin +14.299s etc
Fastest lap Collard 57.110s / 103.40mph

Rookie class 1 Baybutt; 2 Martins; 3 Mitchell; 4 Florescu; 5 Enaam AHMED / GBR / TRS Arden; 6 Darius KARBALEY / GBR / Falcon; 7 Josh SMITH / GBR / Fortec

Full times

 

Norris back on top after Ford-powered win number six

  • Lando Norris leads from pole to chequered flag for Carlin to regain championship lead
  • Dan Ticktum second overall and Rookie class victor with Colton Herta P3
  • Back-of-grid battle to eighth for Ricky Collard

ROCKINGHAM 5 SEPTEMBER, 2015 – The overall lead of the Ford EcoBoost-powered MSA Formula Championship changed hands yet again this afternoon, Lando Norris regaining control of the title race after a well-judged victory in Round 22, the Carlin driver leading all the way from pole position to chequered flag.

Erstwhile points leader Ricky Collard made the best of a difficult situation, racing from the very back of the 20-car grid after an accident in qualifying to claim eighth place at the line, and with it a front-row start for tomorrow’s reverse-grid race.

Fifteen-year-old flyer Norris did well to hang on to the lead in the first couple of corners with his team-mate Colton Herta getting a better getaway from P2 on the grid. They drew level through the banked first turn, with Lando managing to nose in front thanks to hugging the inside line into the Deene hairpin. Fortec’s Dan Ticktum managed to impose himself between the duelling Carlin men as they scrabbled their way through Deene, pushing Herta back to third.

Behind, there was a degree of chaos as the pack tried to funnel through the tight right-hander Yentwood, several cars getting tagged. Toby Sowery, in his first race with the MBM team, found himself beached in the gravel while Louise Richardson’s Richardson Racing machine was spun right around – fortunately she was able to get going again, albeit with time lost. Another casualty was Jack Butel (JHR Developments), who retired to the pits with deranged steering. Sowery’s car required retrieval and this prompted a three-lap safety car period.

At the restart Norris held his nerve to maintain the lead and at the end of the fifth lap he led Ticktum by just over a second, with Herta close behind for third. A series of fastest laps from Lando put his victory beyond doubt, and he crossed the line 1.8s clear for his sixth Ford-powered victory of the season. Said Lando: “Colton got a better start than me and was almost completely past me but I had the inside for the hairpin and I managed to get the lead again. After that the car felt really good and quite fast and I was able to manage the race.”

Norris’s getaway was aided by Ticktum’s need to protect his second place from a series of moves by Herta. Colton tried his hardest to outgun Dan into the Deene on several occasions, and Ticktum’s defensive action cost him time to the leader. Herta came under attack himself towards the end from TRS Arden man Enaam Ahmed, who went wheel to wheel with the American into Tarzan on the penultimate lap and was repulsed only by some vigorous defending.

Said Colton: “My initial start was good but things kind of evened out once we got on the banking. I didn’t see Dan with us until the last second, so it was all quite close into the hairpin. Then I had a close race with Enaam – we touched a bit but it was all clean racing.”

Less than five seconds covered the top six at the line – Norris, Ticktum, Herta and Ahmed heading home Matheus Leist’s Double R car and Sennan Fielding’s JHR Developments machine. Ticktum was the Rookie class victor for the 12th time this season with Ahmed second and Carlin’s Petru Florescu, seventh overall, competing the Rookie podium.

Ahmed, who last weekend claimed his maiden car-racing wins in Estonia in the SMP Formula 4 Championship, was pleased with his result but “really disappointed that I couldn’t make my move on Colton stick; I had to try, we were rubbing wheels and it was a good battle. I’m happy with another top five, though…”

Dan Baybutt held on to cross the line eighth for JTR, with Collard – who was being advised from the pit wall where he needed to finish to secure a good starting position for the reverse-grid race – right behind. Said Ricky: “I made sure that my pit board was telling me where I needed to be. My tyres look good, I feel good and I’ve practised my overtaking moves… Now I just have to go and win it tomorrow.” Unfortunately in one way for Ricky his ninth place became eighth post-race when Baybutt was judged to have been out of position at the start and was docked 10 seconds, dropping him to 17th, so what would have been pole for Collard becomes P2 on the grid…

Sandy Mitchell placed ninth for TRS Arden, ahead of Double R’s Tarun Reddy, with Jess Hawkins equalling her season’s best with 11th after a good drive for Falcon Motorsport.

The MSA Formula racers are back on track at Rockingham at 1020 tomorrow for the reverse-grid race with the Rockingham finale, in which Herta will go from the pole, to be televised live on ITV4, at 1550.

Provisional results Round 22 Rockingham 5 September 2015  amended
13 laps / 25.22 miles
1 Lando NORRIS / GBR / Carlin 18m 44.709s / 80.72mph
2 Daniel TICKTUM / GBR / Fortec +1.872s
3 Colton HERTA / USA / Carlin +3.491s
4 Enaam AHMED / GBR / TRS Arden +3.836s
5 Matheus LEIST / BRA / Double R +4.353s
6 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR +4.933s
7 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin +5.767s
8 Ricky COLLARD / GBR / TRS Arden +12.000s
9 Sandy MITCHELL / GBR / TRS Arden +13.105s
10 Tarun REDDY / IND / Double R +13.816s etc
Fastest lap Norris 1m 18.898s / 88.51mph Est Rec

Rookie class 1 Ticktum; 2 Ahmed; 3 Florescu; 4 Mitchell; 5 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / SWB; 6 Josh SMITH / GBR / Fortec; 7 Ameya VAIDYANATHAN / IND / JTR; 8 Dan BAYBUTT / GBR / JTR

Grid for Round 23 Mitchell – Collard – Baybutt – Florescu – Fielding – Leist – Ahmed – Herta – Ticktum – Norris – Reddy etc

Provisional championship standings
1 Norris 302 points; 2 Collard 279; 3 Fielding 241; 4 Ticktum 235; 5 Herta 222; 6 Leist 189; 7 Mitchell 143; 8 Ahmed 107; 9 James Pull 89; 10 Tarun Reddy 81 etc
Rookie class 1 Ticktum 383; 2 Ahmed 293; 4 Mitchell 284; 4 Florescu 254; 5 Martins 239 etc

Full times

DRIVER NEWS: Frustration for Dan Ticktum at Knockhill

Dan Ticktum / Fortec

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.”

Norris qualifies on top at Knockhill

  • Carlin driver Lando Norris matches his Oulton Park and Croft form to lead the way in qualifying
  • Norris to start Round 19 from the pole, Fortec’s Dan Ticktum on top spot for Round 21

KNOCKHILL 22 AUGUST, 2015 – Lando Norris, only fifth in yesterday’s pre-event testing at Knockhill, dug deep today to propel himself to pole position for this afternoon’s 19th round of the Ford EcoBoost-powered MSA Formula Championship. The Carlin driver found more than half a second from his Friday best to lap the 1.27-mile track in 49.626s and dislodge Fortec’s Dan Ticktum from top spot in the closing minutes of qualifying.

Ticktum had set the pace during the first half of the session before running was twice suspended to retrieve cars stranded in Knockhill’s unforgiving gravel traps. When the track went live once more, 15-year-old Norris was one of handful of drivers to improve their pace. Said Lando: “After yesterday it was going to be hard to get pole. We struggled a bit yesterday, mainly in the last sector of the track, but the pace in the first two sectors was always there. I put things together a bit better today – we worked quite hard last night trying to make the car better, and me a bit better, and it’s all paid off.”

Ticktum’s consolation is that he will start Sunday’s live-televised Round 21 from the pole, his second-best qualifying lap time being a hundredth better than that recorded by Norris.

Championship leader Ricky Collard (TRS Arden) will start both races from third on the grid; Ricky lost his best qualifying lap time after exceeding track limits. “I’m a bit disappointed, to be honest. Yesterday’s pace was really good and we’ve matched that, but everyone else has gone a little quicker today. But my race pace is good and I’m sure we can come through.”

Snetterton double winner Colton Herta was fourth quickest this morning for Carlin, just ahead of Collard’s TRS Arden team-mate Enaam Ahmed, for whom fifth on the grid is a season’s best performance. “I am driving the car a bit better,” said Enaam. “Since Snetterton I have made a step forward with my driving and I’m happy to have made the top five; hopefully we can have a good race from there.”

Local hero Sandy Mitchell qualified sixth fastest overall, his best result since his Thruxton poles, to make it three TRS Arden men in the top six. “I’m quite happy with that,” said the Forfar driver. “It’s my best for a while. We needed to take another step forward and I think we are getting there now.”

Now driving for Fortec, 15-year-old James Pull enjoyed his best qualifying since the start of the season, placing seventh with a hot lap towards the end of the session: “The red flags messed it up for me a bit. I went out again after that and discovered I’d punctured the left front tyre, so I had to stop again to change it, then just managed to get a lap in at the end.”

Sennan Fielding, baffled by handling problems in his JHR Developments car not present in testing yesterday, qualified eighth, ahead of JTR’s Dan Baybutt – his first time in the qualifying top 10 since Thruxton – and Carlin’s Petru Florescu. The red flags flew while the cars of Ollie Pidgley (Richardson Racing) and Tarun Reddy (Double R) were retrieved from gravel traps. Reddy set 13th best time and Pidgley 18th. Today’s race is due off at 1550.

Provisional qualifying times Knockhill 22 August 2015
Grid order for Round 19
1 Lando NORRIS / GBR / Carlin 49.626s
2 Daniel TICKTUM / GBR / Fortec 49.704s
3 Ricky COLLARD / GBR / TRS Arden 49.871s
4 Colton HERTA / USA / Carlin 49.966s
5 Enaam AHMED / GBR / TRS Arden 50.006s
6 Sandy MITCHELL / GBR / TRS Arden 50.020s
7 James PULL / GBR / Fortec 50.077s
8 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR 50.134s
9 Daniel BAYBUTT / GBR / JTR 50.134s
10 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin 50.405s etc

Round 21 grid order (based on second-fastest times): Ticktum – Norris – Collard – Herta – Ahmed – Fielding – Mitchell – Baybutt – Pull – Josh Smith etc

Full times

DRIVER NEWS: Dan Ticktum back on form at Snetterton

Report supplied by driver’s PR

DRIVER NEWS 10 AUGUST, 2015 – Dan Ticktum, racing for Fortec Motorsport, took a win and two podiums at Snetterton Circuit in the MSA Formula this weekend. It was the perfect way to bounce back after Dan was excluded from the results at Croft in the last round.

Dan’s weekend got off to a solid start as he set the third fastest time of the qualifying session putting him on the second row of the grid for Race 1 and Race 3. In Race 1 Dan immediately put pressure on the drivers ahead of him, passing title rival Lando Norris on the first lap and then forcing Colton Herta into a mistake at Brundle on lap 2. The Fortec Motorsport driver kept his head to take an impressive win.

In the reverse-grid race Dan started in tenth but by the second lap he was already up to fifth. He made some excellent moves on Enaam Ahmed and Tarun Reddy to further progress through the field. Herta took the victory, but Dan finished an impressive second to collect more vital championship points. The final race of the weekend saw Dan take the offensive in the opening laps as he challenged Norris for second. Despite having a broken front wing, Dan showed great pace, but could not find a way past the leaders. He finished third completing his hat-trick of podiums.

Dan Ticktum: “It was important to have a good weekend, especially having been excluded from the Croft races; I felt I answered a lot of questions with my victory in the first race. The car felt good and I was very happy with our pace throughout the weekend.”

Ticktum claims the win in first Ford EcoBoost-powered race of the Snetterton weekend

  • Dan Ticktum takes win number three for Fortec after early leader Colton Herta spins
  • Lando Norris shadows Ticktum to the flag with championship leader Ricky Collard third

SNETTERTON 8 AUGUST, 2015 – Dan Ticktum scored his third victory of the MSA Formula season at Snetterton this afternoon, the 16-year-old Fortec driver guiding his Ford EcoBoost-powered car to a 1.2s win over Lando Norris after gaining the lead on the second lap.

Ticktum’s win came at the expense of test day and qualifying front-runner Colton Herta, who led the opening lap only to spin away his advantage under pressure from Dan. Lando Norris placed second to uphold Carlin honours with championship leader Ricky Collard third for the TRS Arden squad.

Herta did everything right in the run up to the race, besting everyone throughout Friday’s testing and scoring a twin-pole success in qualifying this morning ahead of Norris. The 15-year-old Californian made an impeccable start to lead Norris and Ticktum away from the line but came unstuck at Brundle on lap two. “I spun it – my fault,” said Colton, whose car was undamaged and able to rejoin.

Ticktum passed Norris for second on the opening lap and gratefully accepted Herta’s dropped ball. He was kept honest to the end by Norris, who pursued him for all he was worth. Said Dan from the victory podium: “It was a good race and the car was all good as well. Colton spun going under the bridge – I noticed that there wasn’t a lot of grip there on the first lap. It was a shame to see that but obviously it was quite good for me. Around lap five they started to close on me and I needed to push hard to get a small gap.” Ticktum also claimed the Rookie class honours for the ninth time this season.

Norris was frustrated not to have been able to get on terms with Ticktum but pleased to have slightly narrowed Collard’s championship lead: “I couldn’t do anything about Ticktum. We struggled a bit. I think if it had been the opposite way around, with me in front, then I could have pulled away because our pace is really good but it’s hard to follow a car closely and to pass here.”

After a nightmare qualifying involving a broken gearshift component, Collard was happy enough with his podium finish and is looking forward to pleasing the crowd in tomorrow’s feature race, which he will have to start from the back of the grid. Said Ricky: “We weren’t fast enough in the right places and that made it very difficult to try to get past. But I will be giving it everything in the Duo Arden car tomorrow and the spectators should be in for a treat.”

JHR Developments driver Sennan Fielding held station behind the leading bunch for the duration to finish fourth, 1.6s ahead of Carlin’s Petru Florescu, with TRS Arden man Enaam Ahmed continuing to demonstrate his improved form and claiming sixth, his best finish of the season to date. Florescu and Ahmed completed the Rookie class podium.

Matheus Leist battled his Double R team-mate Tarun Reddy throughout the race, the Brazilian relieving the Indian of seventh place on the final lap. Herta battled back from 11th after his spin, establishing a new lap record on his way to ninth ahead of Jack Barlow’s MBM car.

There was steady progress for Fortec’s Toby Sowery to claim 11th at the line from 16th on the grid, ahead of Louise Richardson’s Richardson Racing machine. Rafa Martins, his qualifying fuel pressure issues sorted, raced to 13th for SWB Motorsport ahead of Falcon Motorsport’s Jessica Hawkins and Sandy Mitchell (TRS Arden).

The finishing order was completed by Darius Karbaley, Jack Butel, James Pull, Ameya Vaidyanathan, Josh Smith (who pitted for a replacement tyre) and Daniel Baybutt (who was another pit visitor following a penultimate-lap off-track excursion). Ollie Pidgley’s Richardson Racing car was the only non-finisher, this after contact with another runner.

Tomorrow’s Snetterton excitement gets underway bright and early at 0920 with the reverse-grid race – in which Barlow will go from the pole – ahead of the 1520 feature race, which will be screened live on ITV4.

Provisional results Round 16 Snetterton 8 August 2015
11 laps / 32.66 miles
1 Daniel TICKTUM / GBR / Fortec 20m 45.770s / 94.37mph
2 Lando NORRIS / GBR / Carlin +1.281s
3 Ricky COLLARD / GBR / TRS Arden +2.035s
4 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR +4.733s
5 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin +6.333s
6 Enaam AHMED / GBR / TRS Arden +11.455s
7 Matheus LEIST / BRA / Double R +13.850s
8 Tarun REDDY / IND / Double R +14.082s
9 Colton HERTA / USA / Carlin +14.183s
10 Jack BARLOW / GBR / MBM +15.558s etc
Fastest lap Herta 1m 51.651s / 95.72mph Est Rec

Rookie class 1 Ticktum; 2 Florescu; 3 Ahmed; 4 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / SWB; 5 Sandy MITCHELL / GBR / TRS Arden; 6 Darius KARBALEY / GBR / Falcon; 7 Ameya VAIDYANATHAN / IND / JTR; 8 Josh SMITH / GBR / Fortec; 9 Daniel BAYBUTT / GBR / JTR

Grid for Round 17 Barlow – Herta – Reddy – Leist – Ahmed – Florescu – Fielding – Collard – Norris – Ticktum etc

Provisional championship standings
1 Collard 234 points; 2 Norris 212; 3 Ticktum 174; 4 Leist 168; 5 Fielding 151; 6 Herta 109; 7 Mitchell 106; 8 James Pull 78; 9 Barlow 67; 10 Martins 63 etc
Rookie class 1 Ticktum 268; 2 Mitchell 216; 3 Baybutt 206; 4 Florescu 191; 5 Martins 180 etc

Full results

Collard bids to lead home the Ford-powered MSA Formula racers at Thruxton

  • Hampshire driver Ricky hoping for home-track advantage as he bids to improve his qualifying performance and bag more EcoBoost race wins
  • Daniel Ticktum leads championship and Rookie class after solid start to his maiden season of racing

2 May, 2015 – After scoring one race win and a hat-trick of podium finishes in the opening two meetings of the Ford EcoBoost-powered MSA Formula Championship season, Hampshireman Ricky Collard is ready to step up his performances next weekend (9/10 May) at his home circuit of Thruxton.

The 18-year-old Eversley-based TRS Arden driver has been one of the consistently quick drivers, not once in six races finishing outside the top six, and knows exactly where he needs to improve if he is to displace his 15-year-old rival Dan Ticktum as the consistent race winner. “I just haven’t extracted the most from myself in qualifying: I have been too aggressive on the tyres and that has compromised my performance,” says Ricky, son of BTCC racer Rob Collard.

“Aggression has paid off for me in the races – that’s why I have managed to come through the field to finish well, because of my aggression. I have no problem in fighting my way through in the races, but if I can improve in qualifying and start more races from the front, then I can finish more races at the front.”

Collard was pleased with his performance in pre-event testing at Thruxton, where he ended the day third fastest overall behind championship leader Ticktum and TRS Arden driver Sandy Mitchell, and also with the way his 1.6-litre turbocharged Ford EcoBoost engine has performed: “The engine has been great because they are all so equally balanced across the field; no-one has a power advantage and the reliability has been excellent. Testing went well for me at Thruxton and I am going there with the expectation of winning. I am not looking for a top-five finish; I am there purely to win. It adds a bit more pressure, but it’s great to have a home race, because all my sponsors, family and friends will be there.”

It is Fortec driver Ticktum who has the championship momentum; he leads Collard by a handsome 27 points after executing two impeccable pole-to-flag wins at Donington Park last month. Ticktum, new to car racing this year, is so far unbeaten in the championship’s rookie class.

With four different winners in the opening six races, Ford’s new MSA Formula has got away to a spectacularly competitive and exciting start, not least because four of those Ford EcoBoost-powered races have been won by super-talented 15-year-olds. Carlin man Lando Norris is the other double winner thanks to his successes at Brands Hatch in early April but, after a middling time at Donington, Lando is only fourth in the championship and is looking to regain lost ground.

The other race winner is Double R’s exciting 16-year-old Brazilian talent Matheus Leist, who romped away with the Donington reverse-grid race from the pole to mark himself down as one to watch. With three podiums under his belt, JTR’s James Pull is looking like a contender for race victory soon, with his team-mate Dan Baybutt not far behind and shaping up to be Ticktum’s chief rival for rookie class honours.

MBM’s Jack Barlow has some less than fond memories of Thruxton – it was there a year ago that he crashed in Formula Ford testing and brought a premature end to his season. He’s bounced back well from injury and the disappointment, however, and two fourth-place MSA Formula finishes suggest he will be a podium visitor soon.

JHR Developments driver Sennan Fielding was a Donington podium man and has been quick at every circuit so far visited, including Thruxton, where he topped one of last month’s test sessions. The other championship top-10 men are Colton Herta, youngest in the field and showing signs of steady improvement as he gets to grips with his Carlin machine, and Leist’s team-mate and countryman, Gustavo Myasava, who has proved spectacular on occasion.

Collard will not be the only Hampshire driver in action next weekend: 17-year-old Ollie Pidgley, from Downton, made his debut at Donington and will return at Thruxton with Richardson Racing, alongside Louise Richardson. Louise, the only non-teenager in the field, should be one to watch as she gains experience with the MSA Formula chassis.

Arden team-mates Sandy Mitchell and Enaam Ahmed are closely matched in speed and results so far – and came rather too close to each other at Donington – and both undoubtedly have the speed to get on terms with the frontrunners before long, and the same is more than true of Ticktum’s Fortec running mate, Josh Smith, who is backed by the Racing Steps Foundation.

SWB Motorsport’s Rafael Martins impressed with his pace at Brands Hatch but spent more time off the track at Donington than on it… If the Brazilian can keep his head next weekend he will be at or near the front. The championship top 15 is completed by Double R’s Tarun Reddy, who is one of two Indian drivers in the series, the other being JTR’s Ameya Vaidyanathan. Falcon’s Darius Karbaley has been a steady rookie improver, as has Carlin’s Romanian talent Petru Florescu, with Jerseyman Jack Butel settling in well at SWB Motorsport.

Thruxton timetable
Saturday 9 May 1100 Qualifying; 1500 Race 1
Sunday 10 May 1045 Race 2; 1515 Race 3

On TV Live ITV4 & itv.com/btcc Sunday 1515

Event details & tickets thruxtonracing.co.uk

Ticktum tiptoes to his second MSA Formula victory

  • Dan leads from pole to flag again to extend championship lead
  • Crafty Ricky Collard pinches second from James Pull at safety car restart

DONINGTON PARK 18 APRIL, 2015 – Fifteen-year-old Dan Ticktum emerged on top of a chaotic Donington Park MSA Formula finale to collect the second win of his car-racing career and further extend his championship lead.

While his maiden win for Fortec on Saturday was a relatively straightforward affair, on this occasion Dan had to cope with a length safety car period and ensuing restart. All of which the West Sussex driver took in his stride on the way to completing the race six seconds clear of his closest pursuer.

The safety car had to be brought into play for four laps after several cars left the track on the opening lap and had to be recovered to safety. The first to fall by the wayside was Round 5 winner Matheus Leist, whose Double R car suffered mechanical problems on the green flag lap and had to pull off. At the start, Leist’s team-mate and countryman Gustavo Myasava attempted a repeat of the lightning getaway he executed from fourth on the grid on Saturday; alas all he succeeded in doing was damaging his front wing on the rear tyre of Carlin’s Lando Norris, and then ricocheting into Sandy Mitchell’s TRS Arden machine. Myasava and Mitchell ended their races in the gravel trap at Redgate; Norris was forced to the pits for a new rear tyre.

A couple of corners further on, Rafael Martins (SWB) was nerfed off the track and into the infield, where he came to rest in an awkward position, all of which combined to necessitate the safety car. This at least played into Norris’s hands, who was able to return to the track after his swift stop without losing a lap.

Ticktum had never led a race under the safety car but nonetheless did exactly as he was taught and executed his restart perfectly to regain control of the race. Immediately behind him, James Pull (JTR) fared less well at the second getaway and slipped to third under attack from Ricky Collard (Arden) into Redgate. At the end of the first proper racing lap Ticktum led Collard by 0.9s and, although Ricky managed to narrow the leader’s advantage slightly the next time around, thereafter the gap increased inexorably.

Pull closed right on to Collard’s tail in the closing stages but found neutral instead of fourth gear on the penultimate lap and slipped back once more. Ticktum finished 6.0s clear of Collard to scoop the £1000 victory prize, Ricky taking his third podium of the season to move into championship second, with Pull a further second adrift for his fourth podium finish.

Winner Dan Ticktum: “The safety car played a big role in the race. I got a good start and managed to get away but then the safety car came out and the priority then was to get a good restart, which I managed to do, as planned with the team. The car has been great, so thank you to the team, thank you to my dad – it’s been a great weekend and of course I wouldn’t be here without them.”

Third, James Pull: “The only chance I had to try to get back at Ricky I went for fourth gear and got stuck in neutral. I lost a load of time.”

Rookie class runner-up Dan Baybutt: “It was a bit wild at the start. My front wing got bent on the first lap and I’m lucky it didn’t come off altogether. I got a decent start, which was good, and generally I’m happy with how the race went and the weekend as a whole.”

The spins and excursions of the opening lap shook up the order and opened up opportunities for several, not least Carlin’s Colton Herta, who slotted into fifth from P8 on the grid and gained a further position when Sennan Fielding pitted with mechanical issues mid-race. Colton kept Jack Barlow (MBM) at bay to secure fourth for the second time this year, with Barlow fifth and Tarun Reddy salvaging something for the drama-hit Double R team with an excellent drive to sixth.

Dan Baybutt was delighted with his seventh overall (and second Rookie class runner-up slot of the day), ahead of Arden’s Enaam Ahmed and Josh Smith (Fortec). Norris climbed through the field after his stop to take a deserved 10th and Indian rookie Ameya Vaidyanathan (JTR) continued his steadily improving form with 11th, ahead of Darius Karbaley (Falcon), Jack Butel (SWB) and Ollie Pidgley (Richardson). Petru Florescu was 15th after a drive-through penalty was imposed for exceeding track limits, with Louise Richardson 16th and the final finisher after a pit stop to remove debris from her Richardson Racing car’s radiators following an off-track excursion.

Provisional results Round 6, Donington Park 19 April 2015
15 laps / 29.68 miles

1 Daniel TICKTUM / GBR / Fortec 20m 46.087s / 85.65mph
2 Ricky COLLARD / GBR / TRS Arden +6.006s
3 James PULL / GBR / JTR +7.055s
4 Colton HERTA / USA / Carlin +7.850s
5 Jack BARLOW / GBR / MBM +8.283s
6 Tarun REDDY / IND / Double R +9.427s
7 Daniel BAYBUTT / GBR / JTR +10.073s
8 Enaam AHMED / GBR / TRS Arden +11.247s
9 Josh SMITH / GBR / Fortec +13.760s
10 Lando NORRIS / GBR / Carlin +14.933s etc

Fastest lap Ticktum 1m 07.928s / 104.88mph

Rookie class 1 Ticktum, 2 Baybutt, 3 Ahmed, 4 Smith, 5 Ameya VAIDYANATHAN / IND / JTR etc

Full results

Provisional championship standings
1 Ticktum 114 points; 2 Collard 87; 3 Pull 77; 4 Norris 74; 5 Matheus Leist 65; 6 Barlow 45; 7 Sennan Fielding 38; 8 Herta 29; 9 Baybutt 25, 10 Gustavo Myasava 19 etc

Ticktum leads from pole to chequered flag at Donington Park

  • Dan Ticktum assumes clear championship lead after claiming his first MSA Formula race win of the year
  • Last-gasp scrap for second settled in favour of James Pull, with Gustavo Myasava third

DONINGTON PARK 18 APRIL, 2015 – Dan Ticktum delivered a near-perfect maiden MSA Formula victory for himself and the Fortec team this afternoon, the 15-year-old leading every inch of the championship’s fourth round, all the way from pole position to chequered flag in his Ford EcoBoost-powered racer.

But for a fourth-lap wobble when he put a wheel on the rough at the Goddards chicane, Ticktum’s drive was an impeccable display and delivered him the largest victory margin of the season so far – just over seven seconds separated Dan from his closest pursuer, JTR’s James Pull.

Ticktum showed his class with a clean getaway from his maiden pole start, pursued into Redgate corner by fast-starting Brazilian Gustavo Myasava, whose Double R machine shot away from fourth on the grid to slot ahead of both Pull and Carlin’s Lando Norris. By the end of the opening lap Ticktum’s advantage over Myasava was 0.5s and by the 11th tour he had extended it to four seconds.

Next time around Ticktum had a different car in his mirrors as Norris pulled off an impressive pass on Myasava through Redgate to seize second. Five laps later Pull followed Lando’s example and chose the same spot to push Gustavo back to fourth.

Although the race was in the bag for Ticktum, the battle for the lower podium steps was far from over: Pull set fastest lap as he reeled in Norris, muscling past the Brands Hatch double winner for second place through McLeans on the final lap. Perhaps caught out by the manoeuvre, Norris found himself pushed back to fourth at the next turn as Myasava bagged himself third place to celebrate his 19th birthday.

Winner (and £500 Rookie prizewinner) Dan Ticktum: “That was more or less exactly what I planned, apart from a small error at the end of lap four through Goddards when I was trying to find the limits of the track. After that I pegged it back to about 95 per cent and kept putting in consistent laps. When I saw I had a big lead I backed off a little bit more just to make sure I didn’t make any mistakes. That was pretty much the ideal race off the pole to be honest and a good way to win my first one.”

Second, James Pull: “I took a deep breath and made a brave manoeuvre on Gustavo through turn one; I really wasn’t sure that I’d be able to pull it off but I did, and then I managed to catch Lando and on the final lap just managed to get my nose in at McLeans and pass him. Fantastic, my best race yet.”

Third, Gustavo Myasava: “I made a good start, got the revs just right, but I had problems in the race because my car wasn’t so good when it was running behind another in the slipstream. We had some troubles with this and the tyres were becoming rough. After James passed Lando on the last lap, at the next corner his exit was a little slower than mine and I managed to pass him also down the straight.”

Hampered by gearchange issues in qualifying, Sennan Fielding (JHR Developments) battled through from ninth on the grid to fifth at the flag, staying ahead of Ricky Collard (TRS Arden) for the duration of the race. After a qualifying off left him languishing 18th on the grid, Double R’s other Brazilian, Matheus Leist, put in an even more impressive charge to secure seventh at the line.

Jack Barlow drove around his MBM car’s wayward handling to take eighth (and pole for tomorrow morning’s reverse-grid race), with Dan Baybutt (JTR) and Petru Florescu (Carlin) securing the final Rookie class podium slots with ninth and 10th respectively. Florescu’s climb from the back earned him £500 from Ford as the best improver. Sandy Mitchell (Arden) endured a miserable race, losing several positions on the opening lap and slipping to 13th by the end with a deranged front wing, finishing behind his team-mate Enaam Ahmed and also Louise Richardson (Richardson Racing).

Rafael Martins (SWB) ran seventh early on but spun off, joining Darius Karbaley (Falcon), Tarun Reddy (Double R) and Josh Smith (Fortec) in retirement. The finishing order was completed by Jack Butel in 14th, ahead of Colton Herta and championship debutants Ollie Pidgley and Ameya Vaidyanathan.

Falcon Motorsport was reduced to single-car strength this weekend after the squad’s Romanian racer, Alexandra Marinescu, was recommended a further week of rest following her Brands Hatch testing accident on the eve of the new season. “The recovery went normally until now,” said Alexandra, “but the doctors considered that I might be subjected to too much stress too soon after the accident so, in accordance with their recommendations, we’ve decided not to compete this weekend. I would have liked to start in this round, but my safety is a priority. I’ll continue the training and I cannot wait to start again in the third round, at Thruxton.”

Provisional results Round 4, Donington Park 18 April 2015
18 laps / 35.62 miles
1 Daniel TICKTUM / GBR / Fortec 20m 40.072s / 103.30mph
2 James PULL / GBR / JTR +7.094s
3 Gustavo MYASAVA / BRA / Double R +7.861s
4 Lando NORRIS / GBR / Carlin +8.026s
5 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR +14.721s
6 Ricky COLLARD / GBR / TRS Arden +14.888s
7 Matheus LEIST / BRA / Double R +18.226s
8 Jack BARLOW / GBR / MBM +19.029s
9 Daniel BAYBUTT / GBR / JTR +19.478s
10 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin +24.428s etc

Fastest lap Pull 1m 07.880s / 104.95mph Est Rec

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

Full results

Provisional championship standings
1 Ticktum 78 points; 2 Norris 65; 3 Pull 56; 4 Collard 51; 5 Leist 40; 6 Fielding 23 etc
Rookie class 1 Ticktum 108; 2 Baybutt 61, 3 Florescu 45 etc

Donington double for Dan in MSA Formula qualifying

  • Not one, but two laps quicker than anyone else for Ticktum
  • Ticktum, Norris and Pull make it an all-15-year-old qualifying top three

DONINGTON PARK 18 APRIL, 2015 – Dan Ticktum underlined the strong pace he showed in pre-event testing to bag both pole positions for the Fortec Motorsports team in qualifying this morning. Fifteen-year-old Ticktum saved the best of his tyres until near the end of the 20-minute session and banged in two laps quicker than any of his rivals could achieve.

His best lap time,1m 07.668s, earned him the pole for this afternoon’s fourth round of the Ford EcoBoost-powered MSA Formula Championship, and his next quickest, just 0.073s shy, puts him at the front of the grid for Sunday afternoon’s live-televised Donington finale.

Dan’s opening weekend in MSA Formula, at Brands Hatch a fortnight ago, was compromised by a relatively poor performance in qualifying. “We took a risk at Brands and unfortunately it didn’t pay off,” said Ticktum, “but the set-up was perfect today and I was able to put together a couple of good laps. The races aren’t going to be easy but it certainly helps starting from the pole. Hopefully I can make a break at the start and get away: that would be the ideal scenario.”

Carlin’s Lando Norris ran Ticktum closest and will start from P2 for both rounds four and six, with JTR’s James Pull making it an all-15-year-old top three for both races. “It was a good session for me,” said James. “I really love this circuit and third is a really good place to start and I can definitely develop from there in the races.”

Double R’s Gustavo Myasava, who left Brands Hatch point-less after a succession of mishaps, found Donington much more to his liking. The Brazilian, who turned 19 yesterday, said: “I am very pleased but also a little surprised to be P4; it’s a nice birthday present.” Gustavo’s countryman and team-mate Matheus Leist was less happy after a suspension problem caused him to spin through a gravel trap; he ended the session only 18th.

Sandy Mitchell, who endured a torrid time in qualifying at Brands Hatch, was the leading TRS Arden driver, fifth overall, with SWB Motorsport’s talented Brazilian Rafael Martins sixth fastest and pleased with his first competitive outing at Donington. Dan Baybutt will line up seventh for JTR this afternoon, disappointed to have lost a little time with some driving errors but happy his slick Hankooks will be in good shape for the races.

Ricky Collard (Arden), Sennan Fielding (JHR Developments) and Jack Barlow (MBM) completed the top 10, Fielding suffering from downshift problems and Barlow rueing the decision to change his car’s set up following Thursday’s test, which rendered it a handful to drive. “I bottomed out through Goddards and went straight off and across the grass,” said Jack. “I was lucky to get away with it.”

Petru Florescu suffered a late-session off; he was 12th fastest but will start from the back of the grid all weekend after taking a penalty for receiving a fresh engine. Ameya Vaidyanathan impressed on his championship debut with JTR to go 13th quickest, but the other new face, Ollie Pidgley, was bothered by throttle problems which left his Richardson Racing-prepared car 21st and last.

Falcon Motorsport is reduced to single-car strength this weekend after the squad’s Romanian racer, Alexandra Marinescu, was recommended a further week of rest following her Brands Hatch testing accident on the eve of the new season. “The recovery went normally until now,” said Alexandra, “but the doctors considered that I might be subjected to too much stress too soon after the accident so, in accordance with their recommendations, we’ve decided not to compete this weekend. I would have liked to start in this round, but my safety is a priority. I’ll continue the training and I cannot wait to start again in the third round, at Thruxton.” Falcon’s Darius Karbaley was 19th fastest overall.

Round four of the championship follows at 1500.

Provisional qualifying top 10 Donington Park 18 April 2015
1 Daniel TICKTUM / GBR / Fortec 1:07.668
2 Lando NORRIS / GBR / Carlin 1:07.829
3 James PULL / GBR / JTR 1:07.904
4 Gustavo MYASAVA / BRA / Double R 1:08.005
5 Sandy MITCHELL / GBR / TRS Arden 1:08.141
6 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / SWB 1:08.142
7 Daniel BAYBUTT / GBR / JTR 1:08.219
8 Ricky COLLARD / GBR / TRS Arden 1:08.252
9 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR 1:08.329
10 Jack BARLOW / GBR / MBM 1:08.336 etc

Second-fastest times (Round 6 grid) Ticktum – Norris – Pull – Myasava – Mitchell – Martins – Collard – Herta – Barlow – Fielding etc

Full times