• Dan Ticktum adds another Donington victory to that he scored on Saturday to build a healthy championship lead
• Matheus Leist makes it four different victors from the opening six races of the season with an impressive win in Round 5
DONINGTON PARK 19 APRIL, 2015 – The young drivers of the new Ford EcoBoost-powered MSA Formula Championship continued to impress on their second race weekend of the season, with 15-year-old Dan Ticktum making an early bid to stamp his authority on the series by adding a second race win to his tally.
Ticktum, whose Fortec racer claimed its maiden win on Saturday at Donington, dominated round six. In the reverse-grid race it was the turn of Double R’s exciting 16-year-old Brazilian pilot Matheus Leist to claim the victory laurels.
Round 5 report
LEIST FAR FROM LEAST IN REVERSE-GRID THRILLER
The Donington reverse-grid race saw Matheus Leist join the winner’s circle for the first time, his Double R-prepared Ford EcoBoost racer leading all the way from turn one to the chequered flag. The 16-year-old Brazilian prodigy was kept on his toes throughout by his pursuers Sennan Fielding and Ricky Collard.
It was a great reversal of fortune for Leist, who on Saturday suffered a suspension problem in qualifying which left him 18th on the grid for Donington’s first race. Hard work and perseverance saw Matheus finish the opener in seventh spot, earning him P2 on the grid for the Sunday morning sprint.
A demon getaway at the lights saw Leist slice ahead of pole man Jack Barlow (MBM) and turn into Redgate corner ahead of the pack, with Fielding’s JHR Developments car shooting through to second from P4 at the expense of Collard (TRS Arden) and Barlow. By the first lap’s end Leist was six-tenths clear and he increased his advantage over Sennan to two seconds by the sixth tour.
Collard took his time to recover from what was by his standards a relatively slow getaway and he pounced for second place down Starkeys Straight on lap seven to demote Fielding, still suffering the downshift problems which have beset him all weekend, to third. This action gave Leist the opportunity to build his lead to five seconds and, though Collard nibbled away to reduce it to 2.8s by the end, Leist’s victory and his £1000 Ford cash prize was never in great danger. Fielding’s third was his maiden podium finish in MSA Formula.
Winner Matheus Leist: “It was good. I did a good start and I lead all the race, and I want to thank the whole team for helping me. Yesterday I was P18 in qualifying because I had some problems but today we did an excellent job.”
Second, Ricky Collard: “I didn’t make the usual Collard start; I don’t know what happened. But my race pace was good and I think we’re in good shape generally. I just need to improve my qualifying.”
Third, Sennan Fielding: “We’ve still a few issues. When I’m on the limit it’s not down-shifting properly, which is frustrating. Once you have a problem like that it knocks your confidence a bit. Everyone is trying their hardest to fix it. It’s a shame because we have the pace to win.”
Rookie runner-up, Dan Baybutt: “As the race wore on I was struggling a bit to sift down gears. That’s why my pace went off. But I had a good start and my tyres are in good shape for the final race.”
Barlow kept well in touch with the top three throughout to secure his second top-four finish of the year, finishing well ahead of championship leader and Saturday Donington victor Dan Ticktum (Fortec), who started eighth and picked off the cars of Lando Norris (Carlin) and Dan Baybutt (JTR) early on before claiming fifth from Gustavo Myasava (Double R) mid-race. It was Ticktum’s fifth consecutive Rookie class win.
Norris slipped to eighth on the opening lap and drove well in the latter stages to claw his way back to sixth past Myasava and Baybutt. James Pull took seventh for JTR ahead of Myasava, Carlin’s Colton Herta and Baybutt, who was another suffering with downshift issues. Baybutt took the second spot on the Rookie podium, with Racing Steps Foundation driver Josh Smith third in class (and 13th overall).
Louise Richardson bettered her Brands Hatch best with 11th for Richardson Racing, ahead of Jack Butel (SWB), whose 12th was a personal best, Smith and JTR’s rookie Ameya Vaidyanathan. Rafael Martins (SWB) was delayed towards the end with a flapping front wing but survived to complete the top 15.
Sandy Mitchell’s race was run after six laps after he and his TRS Arden team-mate Enaam Ahmed clashed while disputing 11th place. Mitchell spun off while Ahmed suffered wing damage which necessitated a pit stop; he finished 19th, four laps down. Darius Karbaley (Falcon) joined Mitchell in retirement on the final lap when he spun out of 12th spot.
TICKTUM TIPTOES TO HIS SECOND MSA FORMULA VICTORY
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 lengthy 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.
MSA Formula – Certified by FIA, Powered by Ford EcoBoost
Provisional results Donington Park 19 April 2015
Round 5: 18 laps / 35.62 miles
1 Matheus LEIST / BRA / Double R 20m 46.252s / 102.79mph
2 Ricky COLLARD / GBR / TRS Arden +2.852s
3 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR +5.161s
4 Jack BARLOW / GBR / MBM +5.570s
5 Daniel TICKTUM / GBR / Fortec +12.729s
6 Lando NORRIS / GBR / Carlin +16.212s
7 James PULL / GBR / JTR +20.893s
8 Gustavo MYASAVA / BRA / Double R +21.121s
9 Colton HERTA / USA / Carlin +21.534s
10 Daniel BAYBUTT / GBR / JTR +22.224s etc
Fastest lap Barlow 1m 08.140s / 104.55mph
Rookie class 1 Ticktum, 2 Baybutt, 3 Josh SMITH / GBR / Fortec, 4 Ameya VAIDYANATHAN / IND / JTR, 5 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / SWB etc
Round 6: 15 laps / 29.68 miles
1 TICKTUM 20m 46.087s / 85.65mph
2 COLLARD +6.006s
3 PULL +7.055s
4 HERTA +7.850s
5 BARLOW +8.283s
6 Tarun REDDY / IND / Double R +9.427s
7 BAYBUTT +10.073s
8 Enaam AHMED / GBR / TRS Arden +11.247s
9 Josh SMITH / GBR / Fortec +13.760s
10 NORRIS +14.933s etc
Fastest lap Ticktum 1m 07.928s / 104.88mph
Rookie class 1 Ticktum, 2 Baybutt, 3 Ahmed, 4 Smith, 5 Vaidyanathan etc
Provisional championship standings
1 Ticktum 114 points; 2 Collard 87; 3 Pull 77; 4 Norris 74; 5 Leist 65; 6 Barlow 45; 7 Fielding 38; 8 Herta 29; 9 Baybutt 25, 10 Myasava 19 etc