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.”