- 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
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